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Airborne iron may have helped cause past ice ages
It seems straightforward: Iron-rich dust floating on the wind falls into the sea, where it nourishes organisms that suck carbon dioxide from the air. Over time, so much of this greenhouse gas disappears from the atmosphere that the planet begins to cool. Scientists have proposed that such a process contributed to past ice ages, but they haven’t had strong evidence — until now.
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Goldschmidt2014: Early registration deadline April 8
Goldschmidt2014 is fast approaching and there is not much time left before the April 8 deadline for early registration, field trips, and tours/excursions. Workshops, and social events may be booked through May 8, subject to availability. Also be sure to book accommodations early. For those needing it, a letter of invitation may be requested with your registration. Early registration for members is 590 US$ for delegates and 350 US$ for students. Please encourage your colleagues and students who plan to attend Goldschmidt2014 and are not members of one of the sponsoring societies (GS, EAG, GSJ and AGU) to join first, so that they may qualify for the member rate.
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  Analab corrosion resistant laboratory appliances

Analab manufacture corrosion resistant laboratory appliances such hotplates, acid vapour cleaning stations and sample preparation devices. Our devices can be used with a wide range of acids and bases (HF to NH4OH). We are represented in North America by Isomass Scientific.

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RIMG short course on arsenic
The Environmental Geochemistry, Mineralogy, and Microbiology of Arsenic short course and the associated Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry (v.79), will provide a comprehensive understanding of arsenic geochemistry in the near-surface environment. Topics to be covered include the mineralogy, thermodynamics, geochemistry, analysis, microbiology, and bioavailability of arsenic, with emphasis on implications for arsenic toxicity, geochemistry in natural groundwaters, and mine-associated impacts and possible mitigation options.

The course will be held June 15-16, 2014, at the Miners Foundry in Nevada City, CA following the Goldschmidt2014 conference. Registration must be booked through the Goldschmidt2014 conference by May 8. For more details regarding the program and logistics, please download the Short Course Announcement.

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Geochemical Career Center

Division Director, Division of Earth Sciences (NSF, Arlington, VA, USA)

Director, Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies (San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, USA)

Final Days! 2 Postdoctoral positions and 3 doctoral positions (University of Münster, Münster, Germany)

Job Seekers: View current openings | Post your resume | Career resources

Employers: All jobs posted in the Geochemical Career Center are cross-promoted through Facebook, Twitter and right here in Geochemical News.

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New in GCA (v.128, 1 March 2014)
Atmospheric noble gases as tracers of biogenic gas dynamics in a shallow unconfined aquifer

Lithium and boron isotopic fractionation in sedimentary rocks during metamorphism – The role of rock composition and protolith mineralogy

Investigating the behaviour of Mg isotopes during the formation of clay minerals

Heavy nickel isotope compositions in rivers and the oceans

The surface reactivity of chalk (biogenic calcite) with hydrophilic and hydrophobic functional groups

Controls on stable strontium isotope fractionation in coccolithophores with implications for the marine Sr cycle

Radiogenic Ar retention in residual silica from acid-treated micas

The Phanerozoic δ88/86Sr record of seawater: New constraints on past changes in oceanic carbonate fluxes

Modeling cesium retention onto Na-, K- and Ca-smectite: Effects of ionic strength, exchange and competing cations on the determination of selectivity coefficients

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When did Earth's first whiffs of oxygen emerge?
Mother Nature Network
Today's climate change doesn't hold a candle to the chemical warfare waged on Earth more than 2 billion years ago. Before plants discovered the power of photosynthesis, single-celled life survived on chemicals, not sunlight, burning through hydrogen, methane and sulfur, among other yummy compounds. These "anaerobes" that live without oxygen were poisoned when blue-green algae called cyanobacteria evolved photosynthesis and started exhaling oxygen. The highly reactive gas combines with metals and proteins in anaerobic cells, killing them. But cyanobacteria thrived, turning sunlight into sugar and excreting oxygen as waste.
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Famous paintings hold clues to past climate
The scorching colors of a large volcanic blast can stain sunsets around the world for years after the initial eruption cools down. Droplets of sulfuric acid spewed into the atmosphere scatter away blue light, creating vivid crimson twilights. Inspired by these stunning sunsets, famous artists included the fiery colors in the backgrounds of their paintings, such as the above 1818 piece Woman before the Setting Sun by German artist Caspar David Friedrich.
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Dead exoplanets can have oxygen-rich atmospheres too
New Scientist
Think you've spotted Earth's faraway twin? Not so fast. Oxygen-rich atmospheres, touted as almost sure signs of life on habitable exoplanets, can also exist around dead worlds. More than 1750 exoplanets have been found so far, including several in the habitable zone – the region around a star where liquid water can exist. Next-generation telescopes should be able to "sniff" exoplanet atmospheres, revealing clues to their make-up.
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Dwarf planet stretches solar system's edge
The solar system just got a lot more far-flung. Astronomers have discovered a probable dwarf planet that orbits the sun far beyond Pluto, in the most distant trajectory known. Together with Sedna, a similar extreme object discovered a decade ago, the find is reshaping ideas about how the solar system came to be.
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A more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, methane emissions will leap as Earth warms
New research indicates that for each degree that the Earth's temperature rises, the amount of methane entering the atmosphere from microorganisms dwelling in lake sediment and freshwater wetlands — the primary sources of the gas — will increase several times.
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Wallace scholarship for women geoscientists awardees announced
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) congratulates the latest recipients of the Wallace Scholarship for women in geoscience. The newest awardee is Penn State doctoral candidate Elizabeth Denis and 2013 awardee, University of Florida doctoral candidate Kelly Deuerling, has received a second year of funding in a re-compete application.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Earth's continued habitability due to geologic cycles that act as climate control (ScienceDaily)
Ocean's carbon budget balanced: Supply of food to midwater organisms balanced with demands for food (ScienceDaily)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


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