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Articles on Rocks

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Weathering of rocks like these basalt formations in Idaho triggers chemical processes that remove carbon dioxide from the air. Matthew Dillon/Flickr

An effective climate change solution may lie in rocks beneath our feet

To avoid global warming on a catastrophic scale, nations need to reduce emissions and find ways to pull carbon from the air. One promising solution: spreading rock dust on farm fields.
Long’s Peak framed by rock outcrop, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Roy Luck

Nitrogen from rock could fuel more plant growth around the world – but not enough to prevent climate change

Scientists have long thought most nitrogen in Earth's ecosystems comes from the air, but new research shows it also is released as rocks weather. This could boost plant growth and help sequester carbon – but not fast enough to avert climate change, as some pundits have claimed.
A rockfall following the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand in 2011. Reuters/Tim Wimborne

Humans can make rockfalls from earthquakes more dangerous

A new study of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake shows boulders from rockfalls fell much further than in earlier quakes that happened before humans arrived and changed the landscape.
Spectacular landscape of the Nuweveld escarpment showing exposures of the Beaufort Group. SUPPLIED

Why South Africa’s Karoo is a palaeontological wonderland

The Karoo provides not only a historical record of biological change over a period of Earth’s history but also a means to test theories of evolutionary processes over long periods of time.

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