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Early Climate

Prehistoric greenhouse data from ocean floor could predict Earth's future, study finds

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1000pa (Oct. 27, 2011) — New research from the University of Missouri indicates that Atlantic Ocean temperatures during the greenhouse climate of the Late Cretaceous Epoch were influenced by circulation in the deep ocean. These changes in circulation patterns 70 million years ago could help scientists understand the consequences of modern increases in greenhouse gases.

"We are examining ocean conditions from several past greenhouse climate...

1000pa (Oct. 27, 2011) — New research from the University of Missouri indicates that Atlantic Ocean temperatures during the greenhouse climate of the Late Cretaceous Epoch were influenced by circulation in the deep ocean. These changes in circulation patterns 70 million years ago could help...

Long-lost Lake Agassiz offers clues to climate change

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1000pa (Oct. 5, 2011) — What caused water levels to drop in an immense yet long-vanished lake? Research by a University of Cincinnati geologist suggests that conditions 12,000 years ago encouraged evaporation.

Not long ago, geologically speaking, a now-vanished lake covered a huge expanse of today's Canadian prairie. As big as Hudson Bay, the lake was fed by melting glaciers as they receded at the end of the last ice age. At its largest,...

1000pa (Oct. 5, 2011) — What caused water levels...

Ice Age carbon mystery: Rising carbon dioxide levels not tied to Pacific Ocean, as had been suspected

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1000pa (Oct. 3, 2011) — After the last ice age peaked about 18,000 years ago, levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide rose about 30 percent. Scientists believe that the additional carbon dioxide -- a heat-trapping greenhouse gas -- played a key role in warming the planet and melting the continental ice sheets. They have long hypothesized that the source of the gas was the deep ocean.

But a new study by a University of Michigan...

1000pa (Oct. 3, 2011) — After the last ice age peaked about...

Rising CO2 levels at end of Ice Age not tied to Pacific Ocean

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1000pa (Oct. 3, 2011) — At the end of the last Ice Age, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rose rapidly as the planet warmed; scientists have long hypothesized that the source was CO2 released from the deep ocean.

But a new study using detailed radiocarbon dating of foraminifera found in a sediment core from the Gorda Ridge off Oregon reveals that the Northeast Pacific was not an important reservoir of carbon during glacial times. The...

1000pa (Oct. 3, 2011) — At the end of the last Ice...

Rising CO<sub>2</sub> levels at end of Ice Age not tied to Pacific Ocean

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1000pa (Oct. 3, 2011) — At the end of the last Ice Age, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rose rapidly as the planet warmed; scientists have long hypothesized that the source was CO2 released from the deep ocean.

But a new study using detailed radiocarbon dating of foraminifera found in a sediment core from the Gorda Ridge off Oregon reveals that the Northeast Pacific was not an important reservoir of carbon during glacial times. The finding may send scientists back to the...

800,000 years of abrupt climate variability: Earth's climate is capable of very rapid transitions

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1000pa (Sep. 8, 2011) — An international team of scientists, led by Dr Stephen Barker of Cardiff University, has produced a prediction of what climate records from Greenland might look like over the last 800,000 years.

Drill cores taken from Greenland's vast ice sheets provided the first clue that Earth's climate is capable of very rapid transitions and have led to vigorous scientific investigation into the possible causes of abrupt climate...

1000pa (Sep. 8, 2011) — An international team...

Ancient clams yield new information about greenhouse effect on climate

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1000pa (Aug. 20, 2011) — Ancient fossilized clams that lived off the coast of Antarctica some 50 million years ago have a story to tell about El Niño, according to Syracuse University researcher Linda Ivany. Their story calls into question contemporary theories that predict global warming could result in a permanent El Niño state of affairs.

"The clams lived during the early Eocene, a period of time when the planet was as warm as it's been...

1000pa (Aug. 20, 2011) — Ancient fossilized...

La Nina's distant effects in East Africa: Droughts and floods are remote-controlled climate effects

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1000pa (Aug. 4, 2011) — For 20,000 years, climate variability in East Africa has been following a pattern that is evidently a remote effect of the ENSO phenomenon (El Niño Southern Oscillation) known as El Niño/La Niña. During the cold phase of La Niña, there is marginal rainfall and stronger winds in East Africa, while the El Niño warm phase leads to weak wind conditions with frequent rain. Moreover, during the coldest period of the last i...

1000pa (Aug. 4, 2011) — For 20,000 years...

Ancient tides quite different from today -- some dramatically higher, some lower

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1000pa (July 29, 2011) — The ebb and flow of the ocean tides, generally thought to be one of the most predictable forces on Earth, are actually quite variable over long time periods, in ways that have not been adequately accounted for in most evaluations of prehistoric sea level changes.

Due to phenomena such as ice ages, plate tectonics, land uplift, erosion and sedimentation, tides have changed dramatically over thousands of years and may...

1000pa (July 29, 2011) — The ebb and flow of...

Sea level rise less from Greenland, more from Antarctica, than expected during last interglacial

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1000pa (July 28, 2011) — During the last prolonged warm spell on Earth, the oceans were at least four meters -- and possibly as much as 6.5 meters, or about 20 feet -- higher than they are now.

Where did all that extra water come from? Mainly from melting ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica, and many scientists, including University of Wisconsin-Madison geoscience assistant professor Anders Carlson, have expected that Greenland was the...

1000pa (July 28, 2011) — During the last...

How hot did Earth get in the past? Team of scientists uncovers new information

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1000pa (July 6, 2011) — The question seems simple enough: What happens to 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 Earth's temperature approximately 50 million years ago when CO2 concentrations were higher than today. The results may shed light...

1000pa (July 6, 2011) — The question seems simple...

Fossilized pollen reveals climate history of northern Antarctica: Tundra persisted until 12 million years ago

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1000pa (June 28, 2011) — A painstaking examination of the first direct and detailed climate record from the continental shelves surrounding Antarctica reveals that the last remnant of Antarctic vegetation existed in a tundra landscape on the continent's northern peninsula about 12 million years ago.

The research, which was led by researchers at Rice University and Louisiana State University, appears online this week and will be featured on...

1000pa (June 28, 2011) — A painstaking...

Oldest Eurasian hominoids lived in Swabia: Molar tooth dated at 17 million years old

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1000pa (June 22, 2011) — Africa is regarded as the center of evolution of humans and their precursors. Yet long before modern humans left Africa some 125,000 years ago, their antecedents migrated from Africa to Eurasia many times, as is documented in the fossil record. How often, when and why hominoids went "out of Africa" is still a hotly debated field of intense research. Possibly, the first wave of emigration occurred 17 million years...

1000pa (June 22, 2011) — Africa is regarded as...

Did climate change cause Greenland's ancient Viking community to collapse?

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1000pa (June 20, 2011) — Our changing climate usually appears to be a very modern problem, yet new research from Greenland published in Boreas, suggests that the AD 1350 collapse of a centuries old colony established by Viking settlers may have been caused by declining temperatures and a rise in sea-ice. The authors suggest the collapse of the Greenland Norse presents a historical example of a society which failed to adapt to climate...

1000pa (June 20, 2011) — Our changing climate usually...

Life after 'Snowball Earth': New fossils suggest rapid recovery of life after global freeze

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1000pa (June 16, 2011) — The first organisms to emerge after an ancient worldwide glaciation likely evolved hardy survival skills, arming themselves with tough exteriors to weather a frozen climate.

Researchers at MIT, Harvard University and Smith College have discovered hundreds of microscopic fossils in rocks dating back nearly 710 million years, around the time when the planet emerged from a global glaciation, or "Snowball Earth," event....

1000pa (June 16, 2011) — The first organisms...

Carbon release to atmosphere 10 times faster than in the past, geologists find

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1000pa (June 6, 2011) — The rate of release of carbon into the atmosphere today is nearly 10 times as fast as during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), 55.9 million years ago, the best analog we have for current global warming, according to an international team of geologists. Rate matters and this current rapid change may not allow sufficient time for the biological environment to adjust.

"We looked at the PETM because it is...

1000pa (June 6, 2011) — The rate of release of...

Significant role played by oceans in ancient global cooling

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1000pa (May 28, 2011) — Thirty-eight million years ago, tropical jungles thrived in what are now the cornfields of the American Midwest and furry marsupials wandered temperate forests in what is now the frozen Antarctic. The temperature differences of that era, known as the late Eocene, between the equator and Antarctica were only half of what they are today. A debate has long been raging in the scientific community on what changes in our...

1000pa (May 28, 2011) — Thirty-eight million...

Scientists debunk theory on end of 'Snowball Earth' ice age

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1000pa (May 26, 2011) — There's a theory about how the Marinoan ice age -- also known as the "Snowball Earth" ice age because of its extreme low temperatures -- came to an abrupt end some 600 million years ago. It has to do with large amounts of methane, a strong greenhouse gas, bubbling up through ocean sediments and from beneath the permafrost and heating the atmosphere.

The main physical evidence behind this theory has been samples of...

1000pa (May 26, 2011) — There's a theory about...

On prehistoric supercontinent of Pangaea, latitude and rain dictated where species lived

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1000pa (May 13, 2011) — More than 200 million years ago, mammals and reptiles lived in their own separate worlds on the supercontinent Pangaea, despite little geographical incentive to do so. Mammals lived in areas of twice-yearly seasonal rainfall; reptiles stayed in areas where rains came just once a year. Mammals lose more water when they excrete, and thus need water-rich environments to survive. Results are published in the Proceedings...

1000pa (May 13, 2011) — More than 200 million...

2,300-year climate record suggests severe tropical droughts as northern temperatures rise

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1000pa (May 12, 2011) — A 2,300-year climate record University of Pittsburgh researchers recovered from an Andes Mountains lake reveals that as temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere rise, the planet's densely populated tropical regions will most likely experience severe water shortages as the crucial summer monsoons become drier. The Pitt team found that equatorial regions of South America already are receiving less rainfall than at any...

1000pa (May 12, 2011) — A 2,300-year climate...

New evidence details spread of amphibian-killing disease from Mexico through Central America

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1000pa (May 11, 2011) — There's a crisis among the world's amphibians -- about 40 percent of amphibian species have dwindled in numbers in just three decades. Now, museum jars stuffed full of amphibians may help scientists decide whether this wave of extinctions was caused by a fungal infection.

DNA swabbed from the preservative-soaked skins of salamanders, frogs and toads -- collected from some of Central America's best-known extinction...

1000pa (May 11, 2011) — There's a crisis among...

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Book review

Dinosaurs Encyclopedia

Book Review

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages ... WRITTEN BY A PROFESSIONAL paleontologist specifically for young readers, this guide to the Dinosauria is packed...