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A study by Prof. Dan Rothman finds that increasing greenhouse gas emission rates could trigger a mass extinction in the ocean, reports Priya Shukla for Forbes. Shukla writes that Rothman found if a certain carbon threshold “is breached, it would take tens of thousands of years for the oceans to return to their original unperturbable state.”

Boston Globe

A study by Prof. Daniel Rothman finds that if carbon emissions exceed a critical threshold, it could lead to a mass extinction, reports Martin Finucane for The Boston Globe. "We should limit carbon dioxide emissions,” says Rothman. “The carbon cycle is a non-linear system, and if you perturb it, surprising things may happen.”

Live Science

LiveScience reporter Stephanie Pappas writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that massive tectonic collisions in the tropics may have led to the last three ice ages on Earth. “This could provide a simple tectonic process that explains how Earth goes in and out of glacial periods,” explains Prof. Oliver Jagoutz.


A new study by MIT researchers shows that the Sahara desert and North Africa alternate between wet and dry conditions every 20,000 years, reports the Xinhua news agency. The researchers found that the “climatic pendulum was mainly driven by changes to the Earth's axis as the planet orbits the sun, which in turn affect the distribution of sunlight between seasons.”

Boston Globe

A new study by MIT researchers uncovers evidence that more than a quadrillion tons of diamonds are located in the Earth’s upper mantle, reports Katie Camero for The Boston Globe. Camero explains that, “researchers came to this conclusion after they found in global records over the past few decades a ‘glitch’ in seismic wave activity.”


A team including MIT research scientist Ulrich Faul has discovered that the Earth’s interior contains 1,000 times more diamonds than was previously thought, writes Sarah Emerson for Motherboard. The researchers believe that one to two percent of “craton roots,” which are the deepest sections of the “rock layers extending upwards of 200 miles through the Earth’s crust and mantle,” may contain diamonds.


MIT researchers have discovered a cache of diamonds below the surface of the Earth, deeper than any drilling expedition has ventured, reports the Agence France-Presse wire. This discovery was made after “scientists were puzzled by observations that sound waves would speed up significantly when passing through the roots of ancient cratons.”

Fortune- CNN

Using “recorded sound waves from seismic activity like earthquakes and tsunamis,” MIT researchers have found that there may be a quadrillion tons of diamonds under the Earth’s surface, reports Sarah Gray for Fortune. The seismic data provided this information, “because the speed of sound waves changes depending on the temperature, density and composition of the earth they travel through,” explains Gray.

USA Today

MIT research scientist Ulrich Faul used seismic data to determine that there may be diamonds underneath the Earth’s surface. “Located over 100 miles below Earth's tectonic plates are ancient, hard rocks called ‘cratonic roots’ that potentially consist of one to two percent diamond — totaling a quadrillion tons,” writes Lilly Price for USA Today.


A study led by MIT research scientist Ulrich Faul finds that diamonds are about 1,000 times more common in the Earth than previously thought, report Ayana Archie and Ralph Ellis for CNN. “The deposits sit some 90 to 150 miles below the Earth's surface, much deeper than current mining machinery allows,” write Archie and Ellis.


By using sound waves, MIT researchers have discovered that part of Earth’s stable crust may contain diamonds, reports Abbey Interrante for Newsweek. “This shows that diamond is not perhaps this exotic mineral, but on the [geological] scale of things, it’s relatively common,” says research scientist Ulrich Faul.

The Boston Globe

Writing in The Boston Globe, Elise Takahama describes new research by MIT’s Sukrit Ranjan and colleagues that suggests sulfudic anion molecules provide evidence for the origins of life. Takahama also highlights the varying disciplines in the research team, which joined molecular chemistry experts with planetary scientists. “One of the most exciting things,” says Ranjan, is “how different communities, when they talk to each other, can really make dramatic advances.”

Popular Mechanics

A study by MIT researchers examines molecules present in the early atmosphere to better understand how living things came into existence, reports David Grossman of Popular Mechanics. “Preliminary work by the researchers show that sulfidic anions would likely have quickened the chemical reactions required to convert extremely basic prebiotic molecules into RNA,” explains Grossman.  

Scientific American

A study by Prof. Daniel Rothman shows that there could be enough carbon in the Earth’s oceans by 2100 to trigger a sixth mass extinction, reports Mark Fischetti and Jen Christiansen for Scientific American

USA Today

In this video, Nicholas Cardona reports for USA Today that Prof. Daniel Rothman has predicted that the Earth’s next mass extinction event could begin in 2100, based on an analysis of the last five mass extinction events. Rothman found that, “each of the events saw high increases in global carbon. That leads to a destabilized ecosystem,” Cardona reports.