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The real Jurassic Park was a vast desert

5 days ago

An ancient desert covered in sand dunes as far as the eye could see, where dinosaurs and small…
Researchers identify proteins in archaea that could help gauge ancient ocean temperatures

6 days ago

Solving a decades-old mystery, Stanford researchers have discovered proteins that enable hardy microbes called archaea to toughen up…
Early humans evolved in ecosystems unlike any found today

6 days ago

To understand the environmental pressures that shaped human evolution, scientists must first piece together the details of the…
Tiny plankton slow to recover after dinosaur killing asteroid collision

September 30, 2019

A team of scientists have revealed that after the devastation caused by a mass extinction event on Earth…
In Alaskan gold mines, digging for clues about climate change

September 25, 2019

In gold mines near Fairbanks, Alaska, scientists are hunting for something precious — and it’s not metal. They’re…
Oxygen depletion in ancient oceans caused major mass extinction

September 2, 2019

Late in the prehistoric Silurian Period, around 420 million years ago, a devastating mass extinction event wiped 23…
Earth’s last magnetic field reversal took far longer than once thought

August 8, 2019

Earth’s magnetic field seems steady and true — reliable enough to navigate by. Yet, largely hidden from daily…
Study shows Maya civilization decimated by massive, fiery war

August 6, 2019

A Tulane University anthropologist is among a team of researchers who have uncovered evidence of extreme and violent…
Humans may be reversing the climate clock, by 50 million years

December 12, 2018

Our future on Earth may also be our past. In a study published in the Proceedings of the…
Fires fueled spread of grasslands on ancient Earth

November 29, 2018

Ancient wildfires played a crucial role in the formation and spread of grasslands like those that now cover…
‘True polar wander’ may have caused ice age

November 20, 2018

Earth’s latest ice age may have been caused by changes deep inside the planet. Based on evidence from…
Dry conditions may have helped a new type of plant gain a foothold on Earth

November 16, 2018

In the dramatically changing conditions of ancient Earth, organisms had to evolve new strategies to keep up. From…
Beach sand ripples can be fingerprints for ancient weather conditions

September 28, 2018

When a coastal tide rolls out, it can reveal beautiful ripples in the temporarily exposed sand. These same…
From crystals to climate: New ‘gold standard’ timeline connects volcanic eruptions to climate change

September 20, 2018

About 16 million years ago, this happened. Lava erupted in pulses, ultimately burying the region to the height…
Carbon ‘leak’ may have warmed the planet for 11,000 years, encouraging human civilization

August 2, 2018

The warmth of that period was stabilized by a gradual rise in global carbon dioxide levels, so understanding…
Sulfur analysis supports timing of oxygen’s appearance

July 24, 2018

Scientists have long thought oxygen appeared in Earth’s lower atmosphere 2.7 billion years ago, making life as we…
New insights into plants’ conquest of land

July 20, 2018

However, these striking forms came from much simpler origins. The ancestors of land plants were string-like (2D), aquatic…
Billion-year-old lake deposit yields clues to Earth’s ancient biosphere

July 19, 2018

A sample of ancient oxygen, teased out of a 1.4 billion-year-old evaporative lake deposit in Ontario, provides fresh…
Reconstruction of past climate provides clues about future climate change

July 2, 2018

Greenhouse gases were the main driver of climate throughout the warmest period of the past 66 million years,…
Earth’s stable temperature past suggests other planets could also sustain life

April 5, 2018

Theories about the early days of our planet’s history vary wildly. Some studies have painted the picture of…
Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region’s past

April 28, 2017

Ice cores drilled from a glacier in a cave in Transylvania offer new evidence of how Europe’s winter…
Tibet sediments reveal climate patterns from millions of years ago

April 20, 2017

The Tibetan Plateau in China experiences the strongest monsoon system on Earth, with powerful winds—and accompanying intense rains…
Secrets of the calcerous ooze revealed

March 1, 2017

How can we know anything about the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere in Earth’s deep past? Tiny…
Warming pulses in ancient climate record link volcanoes, asteroid impact and dinosaur-killing mass extinction

July 6, 2016

A new reconstruction of Antarctic ocean temperatures around the time the dinosaurs disappeared 66 million years ago supports…
A history of snowfall on Greenland, hidden in ancient leaf waxes

May 24, 2016

The history of Greenland’s snowfall is chronicled in an unlikely place: the remains of aquatic plants that died…
Colossal Antarctic ice-shelf collapse followed last ice age

February 19, 2016

In a new study that provides clues about how Antarctica’s nation-sized Ross Ice Shelf might respond to a…
Growth rings on rocks give up North American climate secrets

January 12, 2016

Scientists have found a new way to tease out signals about Earth’s climatic past from soil deposits on…
Study undercuts idea that ‘Medieval Warm Period’ was global

December 7, 2015

A new study questions the popular notion that 10th-century Norse people were able to colonize Greenland because of…
Dissecting Paleoclimate Change

December 3, 2015

Global climate change isn’t new — the phenomenon has been around for millions of years. But now, a…
Drilling down: Trees offer clues to past climate

October 17, 2015

There are more clues to the past lurking beneath a tree’s bark than just rings to count. Hunting…
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