Caving News from Science Daily

Collapse of ancient Liangzhu culture caused by climate change

Referred to as 'China's Venice of the Stone Age', the Liangzhu excavation site in eastern China is considered one of the most significant testimonies of early Chinese advanced civilization. More than 5000 years ago, the city already had an elaborate water management system. Until now, it has been controversial what led to the sudden collapse. Massive flooding triggered by anomalously intense monsoon rains caused the collapse, as geologists and climate researchers have now shown.

Climate changed abruptly at tipping points in past

Climate scientists identify abrupt transitions in climate records that may have been caused by the climate system crossing a tipping point. They devised a statistical method to determine whether these transitions are simply noise or evidence of a more significant change. Their method is less error-prone than previous methods, since it doesn't rely on human determination. It also allows comparing different records consistently and can identify important events that may have been overlooked in older studies.

Wildfires affect cave diversity underneath scorched surfaces

The landscape at Lava Beds National Monument in northern California is typically home to sage and junipers, with unique lava caves twisting underneath the surface. But in the summers of 2020 and 2021, wildfires tore through the region, burning thousands of acres and leaving the surface charred.