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Ice Ages & Past Climates


Extinction of Neanderthals Was Not a Climate Disaster Scenario

For the past few decades, scientists have offered several competing theories for what led to the extinction of the Neanderthals, with much of the debate focusing on the relative roles of climate change versus conflict with modern humans. Now one theory can be ruled out. New research by a multidisciplinary, international team?including paleoclimatologist Konrad Hughen of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution?shows that Neanderthals did not die out at a time of extreme and sudden climatic change, as some researchers have suggested.

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WHOI Geologists Compile Longest Ever Record of Atlantic Hurricane Strikes

The frequency of intense hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean appears to be closely connected to long-term trends in the El Ni?o/Southern Oscillation and the African monsoon, according to new research from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Geologists Jeff Donnelly and Jonathan Woodruff made that discovery while assembling the longest-ever record of hurricane strikes in the Atlantic basin.

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Cell-sized Thermometers

Cell-sized Thermometers

Climate shifts are a repeating feature in Earth’s history, but humans have added so much greenhouse gas (especially carbon dioxide)…

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Analyzing Ancient Sediments at Warp Speed

Analyzing Ancient Sediments at Warp Speed

Like a toy out of a science fiction story, the X-ray fluorescence core scanner reveals intimate details of the composition of ancient mud and sediment–which can contain a variety of clues about past climate and environmental conditions on Earth–without breaking the surface. In a matter of hours, the XRF simultaneously captures digital photographs and X-ray images of every millimeter of a core sample, while detecting the presence of any of 80 chemical elements.

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An Ocean Warmer Than a Hot Tub

An Ocean Warmer Than a Hot Tub

Scientists have found evidence that tropical Atlantic Ocean temperatures may have once reached 107°F (42°C)—about 25°F (14°C) higher than today.…

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The Great Flood of New York

The Great Flood of New York

An ice dam forming a large Ice Age lake collapsed 13,350 years ago, sending a flood down the Hudson River Valley and causing dramatic climate changes.

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