"We had no idea about this kingdom," Osborne said. "In a flash, we had profound new information on the Iron Age Middle East." The stone tells the story of an ancient kingdom that defeated Phrygia, which was ruled by King Midas. According to Greek mythology, Midas turned everything he touched into gold. … [Read more...] about Ancient inscription reveals lost civilization in Turkey that may have defeated King Midas
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All of these approaches face a challenge, however: combining human-caused changes with natural, global variations that normally demarcate different geologic time periods. For instance, our current geologic time period, the Holocene Epoch, governs our climate and the extent of our glaciers, and is dictated by eccentricities in the Earth's orbit (something humans' haven't yet managed to alter). Since the Earth's orbit isn't going to change any time soon, the Anthropocene would somehow need to overlap with the Holocene. … [Read more...] about Have Humans Caused a New Geological Era?
Jurassic sceneIn recent years many fossils have emerged from sites dating to the Middle-Upper Jurassic Period, about 160 million years ago. In a new study detailed in March 2014 in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, researchers reveal several of these Jurassic sites supported similar species, suggesting they can be recognized as representing a single fossil fauna and flora — now named the Daohugou Biota after a village near one of the major localities in Inner Mongolia, China. … [Read more...] about In Photos: Wacky Fossil Animals from Jurassic China
Today, Barnosky said, humans are causing changes even faster than the natural ones that pushed back the glaciers — and the changes are bigger. Driven by a 35 percent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since the start of the Industrial Revolution, global temperatures are rising faster than they did back then, Barnosky said. Likewise, humans have completely transformed 43 percent of Earth's land surface for cities and agriculture, compared with the 30 percent land surface transition that occurred at the end of the last glacial period. Meanwhile, the human population has exploded, putting ever more pressure on existing resources. [7 Billion Population Milestones] … [Read more...] about Tipping Point? Earth Headed for Catastrophic Collapse, Researchers Warn
The study looked at 1,762 known deaths and likely fatal injuries from 1970 to 2009 among eight species of big whales in the region, including the endangered fin whales, which reach up to 90 feet (27 meters) in length, making them the second-largest living mammals after blue whales. A cause of death had been determined in 750 of the cases (around 42 percent), and of those, nearly 67 percent of the fatalities were human related. … [Read more...] about Most Whale Deaths Since 1970 Were Human-Caused