The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) publishes a monthly eNewsletter titled The Earth Science Week Update (http://www.earthsciweek.org/newsletter ). The Table of Contents is listed below for the Vol. 14, No. 2, February 2016 issue (http://www.earthsciweek.org/newsletter/2016/february).
From EARTH Magazine, 02/04/2016 -- The largest mass extinction - on land or sea - occurred some 252 million years ago at the end of the Permian Period. Generally attributed to extensive flood basalt volcanism in Siberia, the extinction event nearly eradicated life on Earth. New research looking at rocks associated with the terrestrial extinction suggests that the terrestrial extinction started prior to the marine extinction. If true, Siberian volcanism alone could not account for the extinctions.
From EARTH Magazine, 01/26/2016 -- The challenge of feeding our planet's growing population is one of critical importance - it will perhaps be the most important challenge of the 21st century. As the human population continues to rise, geoscience is informimg experts, suggesting major shifts in agriculture must be taken to prevent rampant food insecurity by the year 2050.
From EARTH Magazine, 01/15/2016 -- Toba volcano erupted 74,000 years ago, and is thought to have been the largest eruption in the last 2.5 million years. Some scientists have thought the fallout from the eruption caused a volcanic winter so catastrophic it almost drove humans to extinction. A new high-resolution study of lake sediments from East Africa disputes that idea, however, suggesting that the early humans in the area probably experienced little or no cooling following the massive eruption.
From EARTH Magazine -- While expanding a reservoir in Snowmass Village, Colorado, workers stumbled upon a big bone. And then another, and another, and another. Realizing they found something special, the workers called in the experts at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS), who drove several hours to examine the site. Scientists quickly realized that this was no ordinary boneyard. Work on the reservoir halted, as DMNS scientists called in dozens of volunteers and experts from around the country to help excavate the site before construction continued.
From EARTH Magazine, 12/22/2015 -- Do mantle plumes exist? EARTH Magazine explores one of the most hotly debated topics within the geoscience community. From the origin of plate tectonic theory to the results of the most recent experiments using techniques like isotope geochemistry and seismic tomography, the results of mantle studies are often contradictory, giving rise to the longstanding debate.