Ascent or no ascent? How hot material is stopped in Earth’s mantle

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Gigantic volumes of hot material rising from the deep earth's mantle to the base of the lithosphere have shaped the face of our planet. Provided they have a sufficient volume, they can lead to break-up of continents or cause mass extinction events in certain periods of the Earth's history. So far it was assumed that because of their high temperatures those bodies -- called mantle plumes -- ascend directly from the bottom of the earth's mantle to the lithosphere. Scientists explain possible barriers for the ascent of these mantle plumes and under which conditions the hot material can still reach the surface. In addition, the researchers resolve major conflicts surrounding present model predictions....

What is HAZMAT?

HAZMAT is an abbreviation for "hazardous materials."

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Phytoplankton, reducing greenhouse gases or amplifying Arctic warming?

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Scientists have presented the geophysical impact of phytoplankton that triggers positive feedback in the Arctic warming when the warming-induced melting of sea ice stimulates phytoplankton growth....

Let it snow: Intricacies of marine snow formation in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

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Before Deepwater Horizon, scientists didn't know that oil and marine snow had anything to do with each other. "Marine snow is like dust bunnies in the house," explained a research scientist who has studied the phenomenon for a long time. "All the gunk and little pieces in the ocean stick together, and underwater it looks like a snow-storm. The little particles aren't heavy enough to sink, but marine snow is big enough to sink very fast, 100 meters or more per day. It's the only way in which material that grows on the surface, where there is light, goes to depth....

Vampire squid discovery shows how little we know of the deep sea

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Among soft-bodied cephalopods, vampire squid live life at a slower pace. At ocean depths from 500 to 3,000 meters, they don't swim so much as float, and they get by with little oxygen while consuming a low-calorie diet of zooplankton and detritus. Now, researchers have found that vampire squid differ from all other living coleoid cephalopods in their reproductive strategy as well....

Strong currents promote release of Arctic greenhouse gas

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Ocean and Earth Science researchers reveal how the interplay between ocean currents and marine microbiology serve to regulate potentially damaging emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane, created beneath the Arctic Ocean....

Greenland continuing to darken

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Darkening of the Greenland Ice Sheet is projected to continue as a consequence of continued climate warming, according to experts....

Repeated marine predator evolution tracks changes in ancient and Anthropocene oceans

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Scientists synthesized decades of scientific discoveries to illuminate the common and unique patterns driving the extraordinary transitions that whales, dolphins, seals and other species underwent as they moved from land to sea. Drawing on recent breakthroughs in diverse fields such as paleontology, molecular biology and conservation ecology, their findings offer a comprehensive look at how life in the ocean has responded to environmental change from the Triassic to the Anthropocene....

Wind bursts strongly affect El Nino severity

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A new study finds that prolonged wind bursts originating in the western Pacific can have a strong effect on whether an El Nino event will occur and how severe it is likely to be. The paper also identifies three distinct varieties of El Nino, and explains how these westerly wind bursts can determine which variety will take shape. The findings should help refine future predictions of these global-scale climate events....

Iceberg armadas not the cause of North Atlantic cooling

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Armadas of icebergs were probably not the cause of abrupt episodes of cooling in the North Atlantic over the past 440,000 years, according to new research....