Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

Journal Club: Copper offers novel clues to ancient Earth’s “Great Oxidation Event”

Roughly 2.4 billion years ago, oxygen gas began suffusing Earth’s atmosphere in what scientists call the Great Oxidation Event. Much remains uncertain about this critical moment in history, but now researchers find that copper in ancient sediments could help track … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Record-breaking galaxy offers insight into early universe

A new champion has been crowned in the hunt for the most distant, independently-confirmed galaxy ever observed. Called EGS8p7, the galaxy existed when the universe was a mere 570 million years old, beating the previous frontrunner by almost 100 million … Continue reading

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Lowermost mantle more complex than previously thought

The region of earth’s interior known as the lower mantle may be more chemically heterogeneous than previously thought, suggests new research in PNAS Online Early Edition. The interior of the sphere we call home is a veritable layer cake of … Continue reading

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Idaho’s amphitheater-headed canyons formed by megaflooding

Carved into the volcanic basalt of Idaho’s Malad Gorge State Park are two curiously shaped canyons: Woody’s Cove and Stubby Canyon. Each has high vertical walls that curve at the canyon’s head to form a U-shaped amphitheater whose origin has, … Continue reading

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Earth’s contrasting inner core rotation and magnetic field rotation linked

For more than three centuries, analysis of Earth’s magnetic field has revealed it is drifting westward along with the Earth’s liquid outer core, rotating slower than the rest of the planet. At the same time, seismic probes of the Earth’s … Continue reading

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Effect of stratospheric water on climate

Much of the global warming predicted for the next century is not from direct warming by carbon dioxide, but due to other changes driven by carbon dioxide known as feedbacks. Now researchers have calculated the effects of a previously poorly … Continue reading

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Ocean heating from tropical cyclones

Hurricanes apparently pump heat into the ocean, according to direct measurements of the oceans detailed this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Given how hurricanes are expected to grow in intensity as the climate warms, the … Continue reading

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Meandering curves: A new understanding of channel sinuosity

Winding, curving channels are a universal landscape pattern, from the Amazonian floodplains to the Aeolis Planum–a ridged region of Mars. Wriggling groves are cut into the bedrock of Utah and the volcanic valleys of the lunar surface. Despite their ubiquity, … Continue reading

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Planets’ magnetic fields come from more complex inner flows than thought

The magnetic fields of Earth and other planets result from their dynamos—vast oceans of electrically conductive fluids such as liquid metals in their innards that roil turbulently due to convection of heat left over from the birth of those worlds. … Continue reading

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