More news from:  Science  |  Environment  |  Health

Science

Climate change was drastic in the Pacific, too, scientists have found.
Climate change was drastic in the Pacific, too, scientists have found. (By Eric Risberg -- Associated Press)

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Monday, October 16, 2006

Climate Change Is Nothing New

Global climate change isn't just a problem of the industrial age. Dinosaurs had to cope with it, too, geologists have found.

The carbon and nitrogen content of ancient rocks retrieved from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean 1,000 miles east of Japan indicate that ocean surface temperatures fluctuated by as much as 11 degrees Fahrenheit during the Cretaceous period 120 million years ago.

Scientists from Indiana University at Bloomington and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research detailed their findings in this month's issue of Geology.

Previous research had found evidence of a changeable climate in the Atlantic Ocean around the same period, but not much was known about what was going on in the Pacific, said Indiana geologist Simon Brassell, who led the new study.

Brassell said the evidence of climate change so long ago during a period without humans could influence the modern-day understanding of global warming.

"If there are big, inherent fluctuations in the system, as paleoclimate studies are showing, it could make determining the Earth's climatic future even harder than it is," he said. "We're learning our climate, throughout time, has been a wild beast."

-- Christopher Lee

Sartorial Benefits Found in Fertility

Women dress better when they are most fertile, according to a study published online last week in the journal Hormones and Behavior.

Using 30 college-age women as subjects, five researchers had a panel of 42 men and women compare photos of the women taken both when they were ovulating and when they were not, asking in which photo each woman looked more attractive. Sixty percent of the time, the panel chose the photos of the women taken when they were most fertile.

In an interview, the study's lead author, Martie G. Haselton, called the findings "highly statistically significant" and said, "We know the effects have something to do with ovulation." She added that the judges thought the women dressed increasingly attractively the closer they were to their most fertile day.


CONTINUED     1        >

© 2006 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity