Browse Items (89 total)

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Before we drown we may die of thirst

The island nation of Kiribati is one of the world's most vulnerable to rising sea levels. But residents may have to leave well before the ocean claims their homes.

Australia is ‘free to choose’ economic growth and falling environmental pressures

A multi-model framework that accounts for climate, water, energy, food, biodiversity and economic activity in Australia reveals that a sustainable society that enjoys economic improvement without ecological deterioration is possible, but that…

Decadal slowdown of a land-terminating sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet despite warming

Whether or not an increase in meltwater will make ice sheets move more quickly has been contentious, because water lubricates the ice–rock interface and speeds up the ice, but also stimulates the development of efficient drainage; now, a long-term…

Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes

Data from experiments that manipulated grassland biodiversity across Europe and North America show that biodiversity increases an ecosystem’s resistance to, although not resilience after, climate extremes.

The vulnerability of Indo-Pacific mangrove forests to sea-level rise

Assessment of mangrove forest surface elevation changes across the Indo-Pacific coastal region finds that almost 70 per cent of the sites studied do not have enough sediment availability to offset predicted sea-level rise; modelling indicates that…

The multi-millennial Antarctic commitment to future sea-level rise

Despite computational and methodological uncertainties, and a wide range of potential greenhouse gas emissions, here millennial-scale simulations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet in a warming climate show that most of Antarctica’s fringing ice shelves will…

A marine biogenic source of atmospheric ice-nucleating particles

The presence of ice in clouds can influence cloud lifetime, precipitation and radiative properties; here, organic material at the sea–air interface, possibly associated with phytoplankton cell exudates, is shown to nucleate ice under conditions…

Global exchange and accumulation of non-native plants

A global database of alien plants, showing that over 13,000 species, nearly 4% of the global flora, have become naturalized in a new location.

Broad plumes rooted at the base of the Earth's mantle beneath major hotspots

A whole-mantle seismic imaging technique, combining accurate wavefield computations with information contained in whole seismic waveforms, is used to reveal the presence of broad conduits beneath many of Earth’s surface hotspots, supporting the idea…

Global separation of plant transpiration from groundwater and streamflow

Soil water is usually assumed to be equally available for all purposes, supplying plant transpiration as well as groundwater and streamflow; however, a study of hydrogen and oxygen isotopes from 47 globally distributed sites shows that in fact the…

Evolution of endemism on a young tropical mountain

Investigating the evolutionary origins of montane biodiversity by sampling the entire biota from a single mountain, Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, allows for a better understanding not only of the origins of endemism, but also of this biota’s forecasted…

Erosion of organic carbon in the Arctic as a geological carbon dioxide sink

Robert G. Hilton, Valier Galy, Jérôme Gaillardet, Mathieu Dellinger, Charlotte Bryant, Matt O'Regan, Darren R. Gröcke, Helen Coxall, Julien Bouchez & Damien Calmels

Onset of Antarctic Circumpolar Current 30 million years ago as Tasmanian Gateway aligned with westerlies

Neodymium isotopes from fossil fish teeth and tectonic reconstructions show that the deep Tasmanian Gateway opened up about 33 million years ago and that the Antarctic Circumpolar Current arose 30 million years ago, when the gateway probably moved…

Timing and climate forcing of volcanic eruptions for the past 2,500 years

Ice-core and tree-ring data show that large volcanic eruptions in the tropics and high latitudes were primary drivers of temperature variability in the Northern Hemisphere during the past 2,500 years, firmly implicating such eruptions as catalysts in…

Volcanic–plutonic parity and the differentiation of the continental crust

A global geochemical data set of volcanic and plutonic rocks indicates that differentiation trends from primitive basaltic to felsic compositions for volcanic versus plutonic samples are generally indistinguishable in subduction-zone settings, but…

Greenland supraglacial lake drainages triggered by hydrologically induced basal slip

A dense network of GPS observations shows that rapid lake drainage events on the western Greenland Ice Sheet are preceded by period of ice-sheet uplift and/or enhanced basal slip.

Ocean impact on decadal Atlantic climate variability revealed by sea-level observations

The circulation of the North Atlantic Ocean, interpreted via the sea level gradient along the US coast, is found to respond to atmospheric drivers from the North Atlantic Oscillation, and in turn influences the oceanic temperature changes…

The formation and fate of internal waves in the South China Sea

Internal oceanic waves are subsurface gravity waves that can be enormous and travel thousands of kilometres before breaking but they are difficult to study; here observations of such waves in the South China Sea reveal their formation mechanism,…

Beauty varies with the light

Experimental work on guppies suggests that variation in light between microhabitats is what makes females prefer different male signal combinations, thus explaining the evolution and persistence of colour variation in males.

Precise interpolar phasing of abrupt climate change during the last ice age

A new ice core from West Antarctica shows that, during the last ice age, abrupt Northern Hemisphere climate variations were followed two centuries later by a response in Antarctica, suggesting an oceanic propagation of the climate signal to the…