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Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Received 6 October 2010; revised 10 January 2011; Accepted 28 January 2011. Available online 4 February 2011.
Do blue-ice moraines in the Heritage Range show the West Antarctic ice sheet survived the last interglacial?
Christopher J. Fogwilla, , Andrew S. Heinb, , Michael J. Bentleyc, , David E. Sugdenb, ,
We present a hypothesis that best explains cosmogenic isotope data on blue-ice moraines in the Heritage Range, West Antarctica. The age of the moraines implies that they, and the related ice-sheet surface with which they are associated, have persisted on the flanks of nunataks throughout at least the last interglacial/glacial cycle. The implication is that although the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) may have fluctuated in thickness during glacial cycles, the central dome has remained intact for at least 200 kyr and possibly even for 400 kyr. Such a finding, if substantiated, would contribute to our understanding of the sensitivity of the WAIS to climate change. Further it would be a powerful geomorphic constraint on models of the past behaviour of the ice sheet during glacial cycles and thus those predicting the future of the ice sheet in a warming world. Read Article
BBC – The female head of a gangland prostitution ring in Chongqing in south-west China has been executed, Chinese media say. Wang Ziqi was convicted in 2010 of luring hundreds of women to beauty salons or hotels and forcing them into prostitution. She and her sister seized the women’s identity cards or ruined their reputations, reports said. Chongqing has been the scene of a drive against corruption and organised crime. Read Article
ScienceDaily — An antimalarial agent developed by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University proved effective at clearing infections caused by the malaria parasite most lethal to humans — by literally starving the parasites to death. The novel research, carried out on a small number of non-human primates, could bolster efforts to develop more potent therapies against one of the world’s leading killers. Read article
Independant – An independent Scotland would shift much of its attention away from the UK to become a member of the Scandinavian circle of countries, with its own army, navy and air force modelled on its Nordic neighbours, according to detailed plans being drawn up by the SNP. Read article
Science Daily – A majority of Americans rate their current financial situation as poor or fair, and nearly half of Americans say they have encountered financial problems in the past year, according to the Pew Research Center. A University of Missouri researcher studied how parents’ financial problems and resulting mental distress affect their relationships with their children. He found that parents who experience financial problems and depression are less likely to feel connected to their children, and their children are less likely to engage in prosocial behaviors, such as volunteering or helping others. Read Article
Johnpilger.com – On 22 May 2007, the Guardian’s front page announced: “Iran’s secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq.” The writer, Simon Tisdall, claimed that Iran had secret plans to defeat American troops in Iraq, which included “forging ties with al-Qaida elements”. The coming “showdown” was an Iranian plot to influence a vote in the US Congress. Based entirely on briefings by anonymous US officials, Tisdall’s “exclusive” rippled with lurid tales of Iran’s “murder cells” and “daily acts of war against US and British forces”. His 1,200 words included just 20 for Iran’s flat denial. Read Article
Sydney MH – It’s shaping up to be the coldest start to summer in more than 50 years.
If forecasts prove accurate – and Sydney stays below 23 degrees until Wednesday – it will be the coldest first week of summer since 1960. It’s already the coldest in 44 years, Josh Fisher, a senior meteorologist at Weatherzone, said. In the summer of 1960, each of the first 10 days was cooler than 22 degrees. More
BBC – Former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal is facing the prospect of life in prison after prosecutors said they would not press for the death sentence. Abu-Jamal was found guilty of shooting dead a white policeman in 1981. Now 58, he was sentenced to death in 1982, a year after he was convicted for the killing of Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner. Read Article
Reuters – Women who get a quicker, localized form of radiation treatment for early-stage breast cancer are more likely to need to have their breast removed later on than women treated with traditional radiation of the whole breast. The study, released late on Tuesday at a breast cancer meeting in San Antonio, suggests the increasingly popular practice of using a quicker method known as known as accelerated partial breast irradiation therapy [APBI] may be less effective than standard radiation. Women who had APBI brachytherapy also had higher rates of side effects. Read article
Reuters – Protesters brought their message about alleged U.S. economic unfairness to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, sitting in or outside several Senate and House offices. Read article
Business Insider – The U.S. military has some of the most advanced killing equipment in the world that allows it to invade almost wherever it likes at will. We produce so much military equipment that inventories of military robots, M-16 assault rifles, helicopters, armored vehicles, and grenade launchers eventually start to pile up and it turns out a lot of these weapons are going straight to American police forces to be used against US citizens. Read Article
NPR – On the way to school, my kids and I play a guessing game: How polluted is the air today? We use an app linked to the air pollution monitor at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and we try to guess the day’s exact level on the Air Quality Index, and whether the air is dangerous. These days, chances are that it could well be. For more than half of the past 60 days, the air pollution has hit levels hazardous to human health. Experts estimate long-term exposure to such pollution could reduce life expectancy by as much as five years. But I don’t tell the kids that. Read article
Bloomberg – European banks are struggling to find buyers for at least $32 billion of businesses earmarked for sale as the sovereign-debt crisis drags on, raising the likelihood they’ll have to settle for fire-sale prices. European Union lenders including Deutsche Bank AG and France’s Societe Generale SA (GLE) have announced plans to shed more than $1 trillion of assets over the next two years to bolster capital. Read Article
New Scientist – Facial recognition software that’s as good as people at spotting family resemblances could help to reunite lost family members – or help the likes of Facebook work out which of your friends are blood relatives. We intuitively recognise family resemblance through features like shared eye colour or chin contours, but computers have a hard time making such links between photos of different people. Read Article