Earth and environmental sciences

  • Article |

    The core North American monsoon arises through topographic steering of the jet stream, and should be considered as convection-enhanced orographic rainfall produced by a mechanically forced stationary wave.

    • William R. Boos
    •  & Salvatore Pascale
  • Article |

    Through an idealized set of simulations, with a model that incorporates key physics, research reveals dramatic swings between massive rainfall events and extended dry periods in hothouse climates.

    • Jacob T. Seeley
    •  & Robin D. Wordsworth
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The N2-fixing symbiont ‘Candidatus Celerinatantimonas neptuna’ lives inside the root tissue of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica, providing ammonia and amino acids to its host in exchange for sugars and enabling highly productive seagrass meadows to thrive in the nitrogen-limited Mediterranean Sea.

    • Wiebke Mohr
    • , Nadine Lehnen
    •  & Marcel M. M. Kuypers
  • Article |

    A global inventory of utility-scale solar photovoltaic generating units, produced by combining remote sensing imagery with machine learning, has identified 68,661 facilities — an increase of over 400% on previously available asset-level data —  the majority of which were sited on cropland.

    • L. Kruitwagen
    • , K. T. Story
    •  & C. Hepburn
  • Article |

    A record of flow-speed variations from an ocean core shows that a key component of Indian Ocean circulation rapidly accelerated 2.1 million years ago, coincident with intensification of Pacific Walker circulation.

    • H. J. L. van der Lubbe
    • , I. R. Hall
    •  & J. C. A. Joordens
  • Article |

    Preliminary modelling of airborne microplastics suggests that they may be exerting a minor cooling influence on the present-day atmosphere, and continued production could have increasing effects on the climate system in future.

    • Laura E. Revell
    • , Peter Kuma
    •  & Sally Gaw
  • Article |

    New proxy data for ocean pH and an ocean–atmosphere model show that a radically different ocean circulation led to decoupling of ocean productivity and upwelling in the equatorial Pacific Ocean 3–6 million years ago.

    • Madison G. Shankle
    • , Natalie J. Burls
    •  & Pincelli M. Hull
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A large-scale metagenomic analysis of plant and mammal environmental DNA reveals complex ecological changes across the circumpolar region over the past 50,000 years, as biota responded to changing climates, culminating in the postglacial extinction of large mammals and emergence of modern ecosystems.

    • Yucheng Wang
    • , Mikkel Winther Pedersen
    •  & Eske Willerslev
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Water abundance and hydrogen isotope compositions of two-billion-year-old basalt samples returned from the Moon by the Chang’e-5 mission suggest that the samples came from a relatively dry mantle source.

    • Sen Hu
    • , Huicun He
    •  & Ziyuan Ouyang
  • Article |

    Using global data, econometrics and climate science to estimate the damages induced by the emission of one ton of carbon dioxide, climate change is projected to increase electricity spending but reduce overall end-use energy expenditure.

    • Ashwin Rode
    • , Tamma Carleton
    •  & Jiacan Yuan
  • Article |

    Global inverse modelling of plant water acquisition depth and isotope-based plant water use estimates demonstrate globally prevalent use of precipitation from distant sources, and that water-stressed ecosystems are well suited to using past and remote precipitation.

    • Gonzalo Miguez-Macho
    •  & Ying Fan
  • Article |

    Mercury deposition pathways from the atmosphere to the ocean remain uncertain, but mercury stable isotope measurements from the Atlantic and Mediterranean show that ocean uptake of gaseous elemental mercury is more important than previously thought.

    • Martin Jiskra
    • , Lars-Eric Heimbürger-Boavida
    •  & Jeroen E. Sonke
  • Article |

    A record of Earth’s magnetic field constructed from near-bottom magnetization observations and oriented samples provides three-dimensional imaging of magnetic stripes in fast-spread crust, and suggests slow cooling off-axis, as opposed to deep hydrothermal cooling close to the spreading ridge.

    • Sarah M. Maher
    • , Jeffrey S. Gee
    •  & Barbara E. John
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Three key axes of variation of ecosystem functional changes and their underlying causes are identified from a dataset of surface gas exchange measurements across major terrestrial biomes and climate zones.

    • Mirco Migliavacca
    • , Talie Musavi
    •  & Markus Reichstein
  • Article |

    The amount of carbon dioxide released by the Australian wildfires of 2019–2020 is uncertain, but is estimated here using satellite observations of carbon monoxide to be more than twice the amount suggested by fire inventories.

    • Ivar R. van der Velde
    • , Guido R. van der Werf
    •  & Ilse Aben
  • Article |

    Oceanic deposition of wildfire aerosols can enhance marine productivity, as supported here by satellite and in situ profiling floats data showing that emissions from the 2019–2020 Australian wildfires fuelled phytoplankton blooms in the Southern Ocean.

    • Weiyi Tang
    • , Joan Llort
    •  & Nicolas Cassar
  • Article |

    A range of environmental stressors are estimated for farmed and wild capture blue foods, including bivalves, seaweed, crustaceans and finfish, with the potential to inform more sustainable diets.

    • Jessica A. Gephart
    • , Patrik J. G. Henriksson
    •  & Max Troell
  • Article |

    Data on the nutrient content of almost 3,000 aquatic animal-source foods is combined with a food-systems model to show that an increase in aquatic-food production could reduce the inadequate intake of most nutrients.

    • Christopher D. Golden
    • , J. Zachary Koehn
    •  & Shakuntala H. Thilsted
  • Article |

    Woody plants across the continental United States make extensive use of water stored in bedrock across diverse climates and biomes.

    • Erica L. McCormick
    • , David N. Dralle
    •  & Daniella M. Rempe
  • Article |

    Structural, functional and localization studies reveal that Geobacter sulfurreducens pili cannot behave as microbial nanowires, instead functioning in a similar way to secretion pseudopili to export cytochrome nanowires that are essential for extracellular electron transfer.

    • Yangqi Gu
    • , Vishok Srikanth
    •  & Nikhil S. Malvankar
  • Article |

    The aboveground carbon stock of a montane African forest network is comparable to that of a lowland African forest network and two-thirds higher than default values for these montane forests.

    • Aida Cuni-Sanchez
    • , Martin J. P. Sullivan
    •  & Etienne Zibera
  • Article |

    Modelling suggests that the Montreal Protocol may be mitigating climate change by protecting the land carbon sink, as well as by protecting the ozone layer and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Paul J. Young
    • , Anna B. Harper
    •  & Rolando R. Garcia
  • Review Article |

    Cratons are the oldest parts of the Earth’s continents; this Review concludes that the production of widespread, thick and strong lithosphere via the process of orogenic thickening was fundamental to the eventual emergence of extensive continental landmasses.

    • D. Graham Pearson
    • , James M. Scott
    •  & Peter B. Kelemen
  • Article |

    A multidisciplinary method for managing triggered seismicity is developed using detailed subsurface information to calibrate geomechanical and earthquake source physics models, and is applied to the Val d’Agri oil field in seismically active southern Italy.

    • Bradford H. Hager
    • , James Dieterich
    •  & Andreas Plesch
  • Article |

    Analysis of shallow-water marine carbonate samples from 101 stratigraphic units allows construction of a record of lithium isotopes from the past 3 billion years, tracking the evolution of the global carbon and silicon cycles.

    • Boriana Kalderon-Asael
    • , Joachim A. R. Katchinoff
    •  & Philip A. E. Pogge von Strandmann
  • Article |

    Aircraft observations of atmospheric carbon dioxide and monoxide concentrations in Brazil show higher carbon emissions in eastern Amazonia than in the western part, which are linked to increased ecosystem stress and fire occurrence.

    • Luciana V. Gatti
    • , Luana S. Basso
    •  & Raiane A. L. Neves
  • Article |

    To enable net-negative CO2 emissions, the repayment of previously accrued carbon debt by establishing the responsibility for the net removal of CO2 by carbon-emitting parties through carbon removal obligations is necessary.

    • Johannes Bednar
    • , Michael Obersteiner
    •  & Jim W. Hall
  • Article |

    An intensity−duration−frequency model linking food shock risk to supply chain diversity in the USA finds that boosting a city’s food supply chain diversity increases the resistance of a city to food shocks of mild to moderate severity.

    • Michael Gomez
    • , Alfonso Mejia
    •  & Richard R. Rushforth
  • Article |

    A revised date for the Laacher See eruption using measurements of subfossil trees shifts the chronology of European varved lakes relative to the Greenland ice core record, synchronizing the onset of the Younger Dryas across the North Atlantic–European sector.

    • Frederick Reinig
    • , Lukas Wacker
    •  & Ulf Büntgen
  • Article |

    Thirty years of geothermal heat production at Coso in California depleted shear stresses within the geothermal reservoir, which changed its faulting style and inhibited aftershocks from the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake.

    • Kyungjae Im
    • , Jean-Philippe Avouac
    •  & Derek Elsworth
  • Article |

    Cellular fluidics provides a platform of unit-cell-based, three-dimensional structures for the deterministic control of multiphase flow, transport and reaction processes.

    • Nikola A. Dudukovic
    • , Erika J. Fong
    •  & Eric B. Duoss