High-temperature and high-pressure experiments involving a diamond anvil and chemicals to simulate the core of the young Earth demonstrate for the first time that hydrogen can bond strongly with iron in extreme conditions. This explains the presence of significant amounts of hydrogen in the Earth's core that arrived as water from bombardments billions of years ago.
Scientists led by Michael Ackerson, a research geologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, provide new evidence that modern plate tectonics, a defining feature of Earth and its unique ability to support life, emerged roughly 3.6 billion years ago. The study, published May 14 in the journal Geochemical Perspectives Letters, uses zircons, the oldest minerals ever found on Earth, to peer back into the planet's ancient past.
Scientists exploring the drivers of Antarctic climate change have discovered a new and more efficient pathway for the creation of natural aerosols and clouds which contribute significantly to temperature increases.
The acidity of the atmosphere is increasingly determined by carbon dioxide and organic acids such as formic acid. The second of these impact the growth of clouds and pH of rainwater. But the chemical processes behind the formation of formic acid were not well understood. An international team of researchers under the aegis of Forschungszentrum Jülich has now succeeded in filling this gap. The results have been published in Nature.
Coal combustion by power plants and industry pollutes the air, causing many governments to implement mitigation actions and encourage cleaner forms of energy. Now, a new study in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology indicates that in China, indoor air pollution from residential coal burning causes a disproportionate number of premature deaths from exposure to tiny, inhalable pollutants known as PM2.5.
How a planet comes together has implications for whether it captures and retains the volatile elements, including nitrogen, carbon and water, that eventually give rise to life, according to scientists at Rice University.
Scientists make recommendations for a more accurate assessment of controllable biogenic secondary organic aerosols (SOA) formation and its contribution to the total SOA budget.
The famed northern and southern lights have been studied for millennia, but they still hold secrets. In a new study, physicists led by the University of Iowa describe a new phenomenon they call "diffuse auroral erasers," in which patches of the background glow are blotted out, then suddenly intensify and reappear.
New research shows that the global models used to project how Earth's climate will change in the future underestimate the impact of forest fires and drying climate on forests' ability to capture and store atmospheric carbon.
Lightning bolts break apart nitrogen and oxygen molecules in the atmosphere and create reactive chemicals that affect greenhouse gases. Now, a team of atmospheric chemists and lightning scientists have found that lightning bolts and, surprisingly, subvisible discharges that cannot be seen by cameras or the naked eye produce extreme amounts of the hydroxyl radical -- OH -- and hydroperoxyl radical -- HO2.