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Latest Palynology Stories

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2010-03-31 15:00:14

The main cause of a rapid global cooling period, known as the Big Freeze or Younger Dryas - which occurred nearly 13,000 years ago - has been identified thanks to the help of an academic at the University of Sheffield. A new paper, to be published in Nature on April 1, 2010, has identified a mega-flood path across North America which channeled melt-water from a giant ice sheet into the oceans and triggering the Younger Dryas cold snap. The research team, which included Dr Mark Bateman from...

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2010-01-19 11:56:19

The sediments of the Kimmeridge Clay Formation were deposited during the Late Jurassic between around 160 and 145 million years ago, the age of the reptiles. They are the main oil source rock in the North Sea. However, within this unit beds rich in organic matter are interspersed with organic-poor sediments. New evidence demonstrates that organic-poor sediments were probably caused by post-depositional loss of organic matter during so-called 'burn-down' events. The Kimmeridge Clay Formation...

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2009-12-08 11:25:00

An international team of scientists led by researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have found no evidence supporting an extraterrestrial impact event at the onset of the Younger Dryas ~13000 years ago. The Younger Dryas is an abrupt cooling event in Earth's history. It coincided with the extinction of many large mammals including the woolly mammoth, the saber toothed jaguar and many sloths. This cooling period is generally considered to be the result of the complex global climate...

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2009-01-27 08:15:00

New data, published yesterday, disproves the recent theory that a large comet exploded over North America 12,900 years ago, causing a shock wave that traveled across North America at hundreds of kilometers per hour and triggering continent-wide wildfires. Dr Sandy Harrison from the University of Bristol and colleagues tested the theory by examining charcoal and pollen records to assess how fire regimes in North America changed between 15 and 10,000 years ago, a time of large and rapid climate...

2007-03-14 11:48:13

Turkey's Lake Van provides a uniquely precise insight into Eurasia's climate history The bottom of Turkey's Lake Van is covered by a layer of mud several hundreds of metres deep. For climatologists this unprepossessing slime is worth its weight in gold: summer by summer pollen has been deposited from times long past. From it they can detect right down to a specific year what climatic conditions prevailed at the time of the Neanderthals, for example. These archives may go back as much as half...

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2006-10-04 13:00:00

By BEN DOBBIN, Associated Press Writer ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Three grains of pollen might help solve a 27-year-old murder mystery. To try to unmask the identity of a teenage girl found slain in a cornfield in western New York in 1979, investigators have turned to a pollen-analysis technique rarely used in the United States in hopes of pinpointing where she once lived. A forensic botanist in Texas determined that three microscopic pollen grains from an Australian pine that were recovered this...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'