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Volatile ecosystems, a natural wind tunnel, volcanic lightning, and stress & strain on Venus
Date:12/11/2013

e in point: They count as naturally stressed areas, affected for example by strong daily and seasonal changes in salinity, and they are among the most degraded ecosystems on the planet. The impacts involve global and local anthropogenic stressors, including global warming, ocean acidification, overfishing, and waste-water disposal. This study puts a fossil estuarine fauna from the Austrian Miocene into an environmental framework based on the sedimentary record. This approach demonstrates for the first time that these volatile ecosystems are resilient to the range of natural environmental perturbations and can persist over hundreds of thousands of years. The stability of such an endangered ecosystem over such a long time and across critical environmental boundaries, as reflected in the sedimentary record, supports the idea that the estuary organisms can adapt to various stressors and that the ecosystem can compensate for the typical range of natural changes in the environment -- a range that may be exceeded by human-related stressors.


Linking coarse silt production in Asian sand deserts and Quaternary accretion of the Chinese Loess Plateau

Rivka Amit et al., Geological Survey of Israel, 30 Malkhe Israel Street, Jerusalem 95501, Israel. Published online ahead of print on 6 Dec. 2013; http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G34857.1.

The sources of aeolian sediments comprising the vast Chinese Loess Plateau are old enigmas raised ~2000 years ago by Chinese scholars studying the relationship between wind-blown dust and loess. An international group of researchers from Israel, the USA, Netherlands, Mongolia, and China, funded by the Israel-U.S. Binational Foundation, identified new plausible sources, previously overlooked: the immense sandy dune fields of Mu Us, Tengger, and Badain Jaran deserts just north of the Loess Plateau. They base their conclusions on reinterpretation of earlier d
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert  

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