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.
Researchers have now reconstructed how the Indian summer monsoon responded to meltwater pulses into the North Atlantic at the end of the penultimate cold period.
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.
Precambrian cratons -- some of Earth's oldest rocks -- were uninhabitable for microbes for much of their existence, with the longest period of habitability not much beyond a billion years, and many only for the past 50 million to 300 million years, according to a paper correlating Earth's deep biosphere with geologic history.
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.