A new climate model evaluation package will deliver objective comparisons between models and observations for research and model development and provide a framework for community engagement.
Studies of geomagnetic polarity reversals have generated some of the biggest and most interesting debates in the paleomagnetic and wider solid Earth geophysics communities over the last 25 years.
Scientists explore how interactions between a rocky planet's climate, mantle, and core can affect its evolution and determine whether it could sustain life.
Ambient Noise Tomography Workshop (MIMOSA); Tucson, Arizona, 17–23 January 2016
A bombardment of the Red Planet 4 billion years ago could have created hot springs that allowed life to flourish.
Richard P. Von Herzen, a pioneer of marine heat flow studies who helped validate plate tectonics and discover oceanic hydrothermal vents, passed away on 28 January 2016. He was 85.
Workshops on Volcanoes; Santiaguito, Guatemala, 4–12 January 2016
Scientists review several decades of research on the complex freshwater reach where fluvial and tidal forces meet.
Shell's drilling activities in the Arctic drew the world's eyes to the far north and to issues like climate change and oil spills, the U.S. special representative for the Arctic said in a recent talk.
In tandem, two strategies could lower water consumption by 28% and ensure better water supply for more than 600 million people.
The minerals identified by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter provide more evidence that the planet may have once been habitable.
A new model reveals how cumulus convection, humidity, and tropical circulations interact as global temperatures rise.
Impact Relevance and Usability of High Resolution Climate Modeling and Datasets; Aspen, Colorado, 2–7 August 2015
Sentinel-1B will move to a new orbit on the other side of our planet from its sister spacecraft Sentinel-1A.
After unveiling major planned cuts to climate science early this year, Australia's main science agency proposes a center to coordinate remaining projects. Many decry the proposal as an empty gesture.
After 50 years, scientists think they may have cracked one of atmospheric science’s most persistent mysteries.For decades, scientists sending radar signals into space have noticed there is some phenomenon reflecting these waves back to the ground at around 150 kilometers (90 miles) above the ground.
The DAN instrument onboard the MSL Curiosity rover acquired a series of measurements as part of an observational campaign of the Kimberley area in Gale crater. These observations were planned to assess the variability of bulk hydrogen and neutron-absorbing elements, characterized as chlorine-equivalent concentration, in the geologic members of the Kimberley formation and in surface materials exposed throughout the area. During the traverse of the Kimberley area, Curiosity drove primarily over the "Smooth Hummocky" unit, a unit composed primarily of sand and loose rocks, with occasional stops at bedrock of the Kimberley formation. During the Kimberley campaign, DAN detected ranges of water equivalent hydrogen (WEH) and chlorine equivalent concentrations of 1.5-2.5 wt% and 0.6-2 wt%, respectively. Results show that as the traverse progressed, DAN observed an overall decrease in both WEH and chlorine equivalent concentration measured over the sand and loose rocks of the Smooth Hummocky unit. DAN measurements of WEH and chlorine equivalent concentrations in the well-exposed sedimentary bedrock of the Kimberley formation show fluctuations with stratigraphic position. The Kimberley campaign also provided an opportunity to compare measurements from DAN with those from the SAM and the APXS instruments. DAN measurements obtained near the Windjana drill location show a WEH concentration ~1.5 wt%, consistent with the concentration of low-temperature absorbed water measured by SAM for the Windjana drill sample. A comparison between DAN chlorine equivalent concentrations measured throughout the Kimberley area and APXS observations of corresponding local surface targets and drill fines shows general agreement between the two instruments.
The mantle global circulation, including deep subduction and lower mantle superplumes, exerts first-order controls on the evolution of the core, the history of the geodynamo, and the structure of the geomagnetic field. Mantle global circulation models that include realistic plate motions, deep subduction, and compositional heterogeneity similar to the observed large low seismic velocity provinces in the lower mantle predict that the present-day global average heat flux at the core-mantle boundary (CMB) exceeds 85 mW m−2. This is sufficient to drive the present-day geodynamo by thermochemical convection and implies a very young inner core, with inner core nucleation between 400 and 1000 Ma. The mantle global circulation also generates spatially heterogeneous heat flux at the CMB, with peak-to-peak lateral variations exceeding 100 mW m−2. Such extreme lateral variability in CMB heat flux, in conjunction with the high thermal conductivity of the core, implies that the liquid outer core is thermally unstable beneath the high seismic velocity regions in the lower mantle but thermally stable beneath the large low seismic velocity provinces. Numerical dynamo simulations show how this pattern of heterogeneous boundary heat flux affects flow in the outer core, producing localized circulation patterns beneath the CMB tied to the mantle heterogeneity and long-lived deviations from axial symmetry in the geomagnetic field. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The seasonality of solar irradiance and precipitation may regulate seasonal variations in tropical forests carbon cycling. Controversy remains over their importance as drivers of seasonal dynamics of net primary productivity in tropical forests. We use ground data from nine lowland Amazonian forest plots collected over three years to quantify the monthly NPP of leaves, reproductive material, woody material, and fine roots over an annual cycle. We distinguish between forests that do not experience substantial seasonal moisture stress (“humid sites”) and forests that experience a stronger dry season (“dry sites”). We find that forests from both precipitation regimes maximise leaf NPP over the drier season, with a peak in production in August at both humid (mean 0.39 ± 0.03 Mg C ha-1 mo-1 in July, n = 4) and dry sites (mean 0.49 ± 0.03 Mg C ha-1 mo-1 in September, n = 8). We identify two distinct seasonal carbon allocation patterns (the allocation of NPP to a specific organ such as wood leaves or fine roots divided by total NPP). The forests monitored in the present study show evidence of either: (i) constant allocation to roots and a seasonal trade-off between leaf and woody material; or (ii) constant allocation to wood and a seasonal trade-off between roots and leaves. Finally, we find strong evidence of synchronised flowering at the end of the dry season in both precipitation regimes. Flower production reaches a maximum of 0.047 ± 0.013 and 0.031 ± 0.004 Mg C ha-1 mo-1 in November, in humid and dry sites respectively. Fruitfall production was staggered throughout the year, probably reflecting the high variation in varying times to development and loss of fruit amongst species.
A new view of Ecuador's complex geodynamics has been developed in the course of modeling seismic source zones for probabilistic seismic hazards analysis (PSHA). This study focuses on two aspects of the plates’ interaction at a continental scale: (a) age-related differences in rheology between Farallon and Nazca plates –marked by the Grijalva rifted margin and its inland projection– as they subduct underneath central Ecuador, and (b) the rapidly changing convergence obliquity resulting from the convex shape of the South American northwestern continental margin. Both conditions satisfactorily explain several characteristics of the observed seismicity and of the interseismic coupling. Intermediate-depth seismicity reveals a severe flexure in the Farallon slab as it dips and contorts at depth, originating the El Puyo seismic cluster. The two slabs position and geometry below continental Ecuador also correlate with surface expressions observable in the local and regional geology and tectonics. The interseismic coupling is weak and shallow south of the Grijalva rifted margin and increases northward, with a heterogeneous pattern locally associated to the Carnegie ridge subduction. High convergence obliquity is responsible for the North Andean Block northeastward movement along localized fault systems. The Cosanga and Pallatanga fault segments of the Block–South America boundary concentrate most of the seismic moment release in continental Ecuador. Other inner-block faults located along the western border of the Interandean Depression also show a high rate of moderate-size earthquake production. Finally, a total of nineteen seismic source zones were modeled in accordance with the proposed geodynamic and neotectonic scheme.
WASHINGTON, DC—Limestone that forms the foundation of coral reefs along the Florida Reef Tract is dissolving during the fall and winter months on many reefs in the Florida Keys, according to a new study. The research showed that the upper Florida Keys were the most impacted by the annual loss of reef.