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Latest Paleoclimatology Stories

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2011-07-06 14:05:00

Team of scientists uncovers new information By Judy Holmes, Syracuse University The question seems simple enough: What happens to the Earth's temperature when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase? The answer is elusive. However, clues are hidden in the fossil record. A new study by researchers from Syracuse and Yale universities provides a much clearer picture of the Earth's temperature approximately 50 million years ago when CO2 concentrations were higher than today. The results may...

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2011-04-24 16:15:00

Change view of water temperature during time when first modern mammals emergedWhat tales they tell of their former lives, these old bones of sirenians, relatives of today's dugongs and manatees.And now, geologists have found, they tell of the waters in which they swam.While researching the evolutionary ecology of ancient sirenians--commonly known as sea cows--scientist Mark Clementz and colleagues unexpectedly stumbled across data that could change the view of climate during the Eocene Epoch,...

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2011-03-22 06:00:00

Garbage mounds left by prehistoric humans might have driven the formation of many of the Florida Everglades' tree islands, distinctive havens of exceptional ecological richness in the sprawling marsh that are today threatened by human development. Tree islands are patches of relatively high and dry ground that dot the marshes of the Everglades. Typically a meter (3.3 feet) or so high, many of them are elevated enough to allow trees to grow. They provide a nesting site for alligators and a...

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2011-03-11 10:10:30

The latest evidence of the dominant role humans play in changing Earth's climate comes not from observations of Earth's ocean, atmosphere or land surface, but from deep within its molten core. Scientists have long known that the length of an Earth day - the time it takes for Earth to make one full rotation - fluctuates around a 24-hour average. Over the course of a year, the length of a day varies by about 1 millisecond, getting longer in the winter and shorter in the summer. These seasonal...

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2011-01-29 11:42:34

About 450 million years ago, Earth suffered the second-largest mass extinction in its history"”the Late Ordovician mass extinction, during which more than 75 percent of marine species died. Exactly what caused this tremendous loss in biodiversity remains a mystery, but now a team led by researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has discovered new details supporting the idea that the mass extinction was linked to a cooling climate."While it's been known for a long...

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2011-01-17 06:10:00

A team of researchers conducting an extensive study of growth rings in trees say there could be a link between the rise and fall of ancient civilizations and sudden shifts in Europe's climate. They based their findings on data from more than 9,000 wooden artifacts that have come from civilizations from over the past 2,500 years, BBC News reports. In the study, published online in the journal Science, the researchers found that periods of warm, wet summers coincided with prosperity,...

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2011-01-13 15:31:33

The magnitude of climate change during Earth's deep past suggests that future temperatures may eventually rise far more than projected if society continues its pace of emitting greenhouse gases, a new analysis concludes. The study, by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Jeffrey Kiehl, will appear as a "Perspectives" piece in this week's issue of the journal Science. Building on recent research, the study examines the relationship between global temperatures and high...

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2010-10-12 23:05:00

Geographers at Leicester use forensic techniques to investigate untapped resourceScientists at the University of Leicester are using an unusual resource to investigate ancient climates"“ prehistoric animal urine.The animal in question is the rock hyrax, a common species in countries such as Namibia and Botswana. They look like large guinea pigs but are actually related to the elephant. Hyraxes use specific locations as communal toilets, some of which have been used by generations of...

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2010-09-09 08:23:28

New Zealand glaciers melted as European glaciers briefly expanded As the last ice age was ending, about 13,000 years ago, a final blast of cold hit Europe, and for a thousand years or more, it felt like the ice age had returned. But oddly, despite bitter cold winters in the north, Antarctica was heating up. For the two decades since ice core records revealed simultaneous warming and cooling at opposite ends of the planet during this time period, scientists have looked for an explanation....

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2010-08-24 15:13:32

A new study of the High Arctic climate roughly 50 million years ago led by the University of Colorado at Boulder helps to explain how ancient alligators and giant tortoises were able to thrive on Ellesmere Island well above the Arctic Circle, even as they endured six months of darkness each year. The new study, which looked at temperatures during the early Eocene period 52 to 53 million years ago, also has implications for the impacts of future climate change as Arctic temperatures continue...


Word of the Day
bibliopole
  • A bookseller; now, especially, a dealer in rare and curious books.
This word comes from a Greek phrase meaning 'book seller.'
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