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Earth & Environment

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illustration of ancient earth

DIM SUN  Scarce oxygen and abundant sulfate prevented methane concentrations from getting high enough to explain why Earth didn’t freeze over around 1.8 billion to 800 million years ago when the sun was dimmer, researchers say.

images of plastic, nuclear tests, chickens

END OF AN EPOCH  Plastics, radioactive fallout and the prevalence of domestic animals such as chickens — signs of which show up in the sedimentary record — have made the last few decades distinct in the planet’s stratigraphic record, a group of researchers say.

Soil

DIRT POOR  Soils will absorb far less climate-warming carbon in coming decades than previously thought, worsening global warming, a new study shows.

Earth & Environment

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