In August 2016, areas of Yellowstone National Park that burned in 1988 burned again. Shortly after, in October 2016, ecologist Monica Turner and her team of graduate students visited the park to begin to assess the landscape. “We saw these areas where everything was combusted and we hadn’t seen that previously,” says Turner, a professor

Far below Bermuda’s pink sand beaches and turquoise tides, geoscientists have discovered the first direct evidence that material from deep within Earth’s mantle transition zone—a layer rich in water, crystals and melted rock—can percolate to the surface to form volcanoes. Scientists have long known that volcanoes form when tectonic plates (traveling on top of the

In and around the tangled roots of the forest floor, fungi and bacteria grow with trees, exchanging nutrients for carbon in a vast, global marketplace. A new effort to map the most abundant of these symbiotic relationships—involving more than 1.1 million forest sites and 28,000 tree species—has revealed factors that determine where different types of

It is well known that life on Earth and the geology of the planet are intertwined, but a new study provides fresh evidence for just how deep—literally—that connection goes. Geoscientists at Caltech and UC Berkeley have identified a chemical signature in igneous rocks recording the onset of oxygenation of Earth’s deep oceans—a signal that managed

Radioactive carbon released into the atmosphere from 20th-century nuclear bomb tests has reached the deepest parts of the ocean, new research finds. A new study in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters finds the first evidence of radioactive carbon from nuclear bomb tests in muscle tissues of crustaceans that inhabit Earth’s ocean trenches, including the Mariana Trench, home to the deepest

A study from The University of Texas at Austin is the first published in a scientific journal to take an in-depth look at the challenging geologic conditions faced by the crew of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and the role those conditions played in the 2010 disaster. The well blowout killed 11 people and spewed

Extreme fluctuations in atmospheric oxygen levels corresponded with evolutionary surges and extinctions in animal biodiversity during the Cambrian explosion, finds new study led by UCL and the University of Leeds. The Cambrian explosion was a crucial period of rapid evolution in complex animals that began roughly 540 million years ago. The trigger for this fundamental phase in

Researchers from Australia, Germany and the US have quantified the effect of climate extremes, such as droughts or heatwaves, on the yield variability of staple crops around the world. Overall, year-to-year changes in climate factors during the growing season of maize, rice, soy and spring wheat accounted for 20%-49% of yield fluctuations, according to research

Using data from field experiments and modeling of ground faults, researchers at Tufts University have discovered that the practice of subsurface fluid injection used in ‘fracking’ and wastewater disposal for oil and gas exploration could cause significant, rapidly spreading earthquake activity beyond the fluid diffusion zone. Deep fluid injections—greater than one kilometer deep—are known to

Two years ago a team of scientists visited Costa Rica’s subduction zone, where the ocean floor sinks beneath the continent and volcanoes tower above the surface. They wanted to find out if microbes can affect the cycle of carbon moving from Earth’s surface into the deep interior. According to their new study in Nature, the answer

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