Earth & Environment

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China’s Taklamakan Desert

COVERT CARBON  Desert aquifers, fed by rain, surface and irrigation waters, hoard hundreds of billions of metric tons of carbon pulled from the atmosphere, new research suggests. The irrigation water flushes the carbon deep underground, report researchers who studied China’s Taklamakan Desert (shown).

DIATOMIC ART  This colorful pattern, which is hundreds of microns across, is made up of hard-shelled algae called diatoms. 

Woolly mammoths

MAMMOTH MELTDOWN  Woolly mammoths and other titans of the last Ice Age dwindled after periods of abrupt warming, rather than extreme cold, new climate and paleontological records reveal.

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