Overturning in the Pacific May Have Enabled a “Standstill” in Beringia

Planet Earth pulled out all the stops, it seems, to enable the first humans to reach North America. When a glacial period lowered sea levels and turned parts of the Bering Strait into a land bridge, a warm ocean current shielded that region from the worst cold, turning it into a refuge where […]

Amid pandemic, Pacific islands work to offset food shortages

This July 2020 photo provided by Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture shows staff members of the Suva Christian School, Louisa John, left, and her colleague working in their garden in Suva, Fiji. Coronavirus infections have barely touched many of the remote islands of the Pacific, but the pandemic’s fallout has been enormous, disrupting the supply chain […]

Metal deposits from Chinese coal plants end up in the Pacific Ocean, research shows

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Emissions from coal-fired power plants in China are fertilizing the North Pacific Ocean with a metal nutrient important for marine life, according to new findings from a USC-led research team. The researchers believe these metals could change the ocean ecosystem, though it’s unclear whether it would be for better or worse. […]

‘Lost’ tectonic plate called Resurrection hidden under the Pacific

Scientists have reconstructed a long-lost tectonic plate that may have given rise to an arc of volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean 60 million years ago.  The plate, dubbed Resurrection, has long been controversial among geophysicists, as some believe it never existed. But the new reconstruction puts the edge of the rocky plate along a line […]

Large-scale changes in Earth’s climate may originate in the Pacific

The retreat of North America’s ice sheets in the latter years of the last ice age may have begun with “catastrophic” losses of ice into the North Pacific Ocean along the coast of modern-day British Columbia and Alaska, scientists say.  In a new study published October 1 in Science, researchers find that these pulses of […]