A special issue on laminated lake sediments is on the way

The open-access journal Quaternary has launched a new special issue entitled ‘Laminated Lake Sediments‘ edited by Profs. Bernd Zolitschka (Univ. Bremen, Germany) and Wojciech Tylmann (Univ. Gdańsk, Poland). Submissions are open until October 31, 2018.

The overall goal of this Special Issue of Quaternary is to explore and evaluate the potential of annually-laminated lake sediments (varves) from diverse lacustrine settings. They provide high-resolution sedimentary records with precise incremental time control in calendar years and offer time-series of biological, isotopic, geochemical and sedimentological parameters. Their analysis provides (1) climate reconstructions linked to hydroclimatic conditions and temperature, (2) information on natural disasters like volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and floods, and (3) increase our understanding of anthropogenic impacts, such as soil erosion, pollution and eutrophication. Varves document frequencies and rates of change for environmentally relevant processes and enhance our understanding of sedimentary processes when applied together with sediment trapping and instrumental monitoring.

This Special Issue of Quaternary aims to present the diversity within the field and the state-of-the-art research on lake varves at all timescales and environments. It seeks to display a wide range of regional studies and methodological approaches, such as field and laboratory experiments, monitoring, image analysis and numerical modelling. We welcome manuscripts related to climate reconstruction, human impact and environmental monitoring, as well as improvements in geochronology and analytical techniques.

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Posted in Quaternary Journal

Curso de postgrado de Paleoecología (2018)

La próxima edición del curso de postgrado de Paleoecología que se imparte cada año en el Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra Jaume Almera (ICTJA-CSIC) tendrá lugar entre el 7 y el 18 de Mayo de 2018. Se trata de un curso teórico-práctico de postgrado sobre el uso y los resultados obtenidos con los métodos habituales de reconstrucción paleoecológica, paleoclimática y paleoambiental utilizados en el Cuaternario (los últimos 2,6 millones de años), período geológico caracterizado por las glaciaciones y la aparición del género Homo. El curso está dirigido a graduados en Biología, Geología, Geografía, Historia, Arqueología, Ciencias Ambientales, Climatología, Conservación y disciplinas similares.

Pulsar aquí para más información.

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Posted in courses, Teaching

Biodiversity of the “Lost World” – Table of Contents

The book “Biodiversity of Pantepui: the pristine ‘Lost World’ of the Neotropics”, edited by Valentí Rull (Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera, Barcelona), Teresa Vegas-Vilarrúbia (University of Barcelona), Otto Huber (Museum of Nature South Tyrol) and Celsa Señaris (Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research), has been approved by Elsevier and will by published in January 2019. The table of contents  is already available.

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Posted in Books, My publications, Videos

Special issue on Mediterranean paleoecology and paleoclimatology

The open-access journal Quaternary has launched a new special issue entitled ‘Mediterranean palaeoecology and palaeoclimatology‘ edited by William Fletcher (Univ. Manchester, UK) and María Fernanda Sánchez-Goñi (Univ. Bordeaux, France). Submissions are open until October 31, 2018.

This Special Issue aims to present how the Mediterranean climate, its seasonality, variability, and teleconnections, evolved under the different boundary conditions (insolation, ice volume and greenhouse gas concentration) of the last 2.6 million years. This Special Issue seeks to showcase the diversity of studies dealing with both long-term and rapid climate changes in the Mediterranean region, and exploring the response of terrestrial and marine species, habitats and ecosystems (including vegetation dynamics and fire regimes). Contributions based on novel and emerging methodological approaches including numerical modelling, presenting regional climate projections and implications for environmental resources, or exploring climate-environmenthuman interactions are welcome.

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Posted in Quaternary Journal

A really old wine!

A recent PNAS paper reports molecular traces of a 6000-year old wine in the Caucasus region. The discovery was made by researchers of several American and European institutions on large jars reconstructed from pottery fragments found in newly excavated Neolithic sites from southern Georgia, in the Near East. This would be the earliest report of grape cultivation and viniculture.

Significance. The earliest biomolecular archaeological and archaeobotanical evidence for grape wine and viniculture from the Near East, ca. 6,000–5,800 BC during the early Neolithic Period, was obtained by applying state-of-the-art archaeological, archaeobotanical, climatic, and chemical methods to newly excavated materials from two sites in Georgia in the South Caucasus. Wine is central to civilization as we know it in the West. As a medicine, social lubricant, mind-altering substance, and highly valued commodity, wine became the focus of religious cults, pharmacopoeias, cuisines, economies, and society in the ancient Near East. This wine culture subsequently spread around the globe. Viniculture illustrates human ingenuity in developing horticultural and winemaking techniques, such as domestication, propagation, selection of desirable traits, wine presses, suitable containers and closures, and so on.

Reference

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Posted in archaeology

Special issue on Quaternary mammalian fossil record

The open-access journal Quaternary has launched a new special issue entitled ‘Advances in Quaternary studies: the contribution of mammalian fossil record’ edited by Prof. Maria Rita Palombo, from the Sapienza University of Rome. Submissions are open until May 31, 2018.

This special issue aims to present the state-of-the-art and the diversity within the field, the most advanced research on fauna dynamics with the purpose of evaluating the significance of the species responses to Quaternary climatic changes, and comparing evolutionary scenarios during time and across space. Deciphering the complex network of mechanisms driving fauna evolution, likewise, is of crucial relevance to understand the actual meaning of the so-called sixth mass extinction, and to plan appropriate actions for biodiversity conservation in view of the ongoing climate warming. The Special Issue allows for stretching our imagination beyond the present, and collects insights into the Earth’s ecosystems future scenario through a lesson from the past.

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Posted in Quaternary Journal

Overloaded? How to make days of more than 24 hours

Many people who permanently feel stressed because it is unable to fulfill their working commitments believe that this is due to the lack of time and uses to ask for days of more than 24 hours.

I know two ways of doing so:

Option 1. Slow Earth’s rotation so one day has, say, 30 hours. Besides the obvious difficulty of such a task, there are several drawbacks. I am not an astronomer and I am not aware of the potential physical consequences, though I can imagine that they might be dramatic. But as a biologist, I know that, if such slowing occurs suddenly, that is, in less than a million years, most plants would die as they are adapted to the current circadian rhythm and an abrupt shift in it would prevent them to reproduce. As plant’s primary production is the first step of the trophic web on Earth, life would become impossible.

Option 2. Redefine time units so that an hour has, for example, 48 minutes instead of 60. In this way, a day will have the desired 30 hours. The problem is that the amount of work you can accommodate in such a devaluated hour is 20% less than in a standard hour of 60 minutes. Therefore, there is no gain in having more hours per day, under the current astronomical status.

So, we’d better stay with the standard 24-hour day and don’t take more workload than we can honestly afford, if we want to get the work well done on time and with no stress. We are plenty of time for being both successful and happy, let’s take advantage of it!

Posted in Society