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Latest Holocene Stories

59c5ea92b29880a7096a78f69d6c0de81
2009-12-19 09:19:38

If Earth is headed for a mass extinction like the previous five, in which more than 75 percent of all species were wiped out, then North American mammals are one-fifth to one-half the way there, according to a University of California, Berkeley, and Pennsylvania State University analysis. Many scientists warn that the perfect storm of global warming and environmental degradation - both the result of human activity - is leading to a sixth mass extinction equal to the "Big Five" that have...

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2009-11-06 10:06:14

The seriousness of current global warming is underlined by a reconstruction of climate at Maxwell Bay in the South Shetland Islands of the Antarctic Peninsula over approximately the last 14,000 years, which appears to show that the current warming and widespread loss of glacial ice are unprecedented. "At no time during the last 14 thousand years was there a period of climate warming and loss of ice as large and regionally synchronous as that we are now witnessing in the Antarctic Peninsula,"...

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2009-08-27 14:35:00

A new 2,000-year-long reconstruction of sea surface temperatures (SST) from the Indo-Pacific warm pool (IPWP) suggests that temperatures in the region may have been as warm during the Medieval Warm Period as they are today.The IPWP is the largest body of warm water in the world, and, as a result, it is the largest source of heat and moisture to the global atmosphere, and an important component of the planet's climate. Climate models suggest that global mean temperatures are particularly...

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2009-06-18 11:32:14

Two abrupt and drastic climate events, 700 years apart and more than 45 centuries ago, are teasing  scientists who are now trying to use ancient records to predict future world climate. The events "“ one, a massive, long-lived drought believed to have dried large portions of Africa and Asia, and the other, a rapid cooling that accelerated the growth of tropical glaciers "“ left signals in ice cores and other geologic records from around the world. Lonnie Thompson, University...

2009-06-03 10:05:00

In 1996, an international team of scientists led by the University of Zaragoza (UNIZAR) started to carry out a paleontological survey in the cave of El Mir³n. Since then they have focused on analysing the fossil remains of the bones and teeth of small vertebrates that lived in the Cantabrian region over the past 41,000 years, at the end of the Quaternary. The richness, great diversity and good conservation status of the fossils have enabled the researchers to carry out a paleoclimatic...

2009-05-05 14:06:50

U.S. scientists say that while the majority of the world's glaciers are retreating as the planet becomes warmer, glaciers south of the equator are growing. The researchers at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory said they discovered glaciers in South America and New Zealand are inching forward, pointing to strong regional variations in climate. Conventional wisdom holds that during the era of human civilization, climate has been relatively stable. The scientists said their...

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2009-05-01 06:25:00

According to a paper in this week's issue of the journal Science, the vast majority of the world's glaciers are retreating as the planet gets warmer.  For the last 7,000 years, New Zealand's largest glaciers have moved out of step with glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere, showing strong regional variations in climate, the paper reported. "This research should provide much more accurate reconstructions of glacial advances worldwide, allowing us in turn to make climate models more...

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2008-09-02 09:15:00

A new study suggests the controversial 1998 "hockey stick" graph was correct. A team led by Michael Mann analyzed 2,000 years worth of data. They found Northern Hemisphere temperatures are now "anomalously warm". The report was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The 1998 hockey stick was a series of discussions over man-made global warming. The graph was featured prominently in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 2001 assessment. The graph reveals...

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2008-07-15 15:35:00

The Tunguska catastrophe in 1908 evidently led to high levels of acid rain. This is the conclusion reached by Russian, Italian and German researchers based on the results of analyses of peat profiles taken from the disaster region. In peat samples corresponded to 1908 permafrost boundary they found significantly higher levels of the heavy nitrogen and carbon isotopes 15N and 13C. The highest accumulation levels were measured in the areas at the epicenter of the explosion and along the...

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2008-07-01 13:47:51

The year is 1908, and it's just after seven in the morning. A man is sitting on the front porch of a trading post at Vanavara in Siberia. Little does he know, in a few moments, he will be hurled from his chair and the heat will be so intense he will feel as though his shirt is on fire. That's how the Tunguska event felt 40 miles from ground zero. Today, June 30, 2008, is the 100th anniversary of that ferocious impact near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in remote Siberia--and after 100 years,...


Word of the Day
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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