The Enigma 1,800 Miles Below Us
5/29/2012 - The New York Times (requires free registration)
Existing models of the Earth's core, for all their drama, may not be dramatic enough. Reporting recently in the journal Nature, Dario Alfè of University College London and his colleagues presented evidence that iron in the outer layers of the core is frittering away heat through the wasteful process called conduction at two to three times the rate of previous estimates. The theoretical consequences of this discrepancy are far-reaching.