Ancient people relied on coastal environments to survive the Last Glacial Maximum — ScienceDaily

Humans have a longstanding relationship with the sea that spans nearly 200,000 years. Researchers have long hypothesized that places like coastlines helped people mediate global shifts between glacial and interglacial conditions and the impact that these changes had on local environments and resources needed for their survival. Coastlines were so important to early humans that they may have even provided key routes for the dispersal of people out of Africa and across the world.

Two new multidisciplinary studies published in the journals Quaternary Science Reviews and Quaternary Research document persistent human occupation along the South African eastern seaboard from 35,000 years ago to 10,000 years ago. In this remote, and largely unstudied, location — known as the “Wild Coast” — researchers have used a suite of cutting-edge techniques to reconstruct what life was like during this inclement time and how people survived it.

The research is being conducted by an

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Coastal permafrost more susceptible to climate change than previously thought — ScienceDaily

If you flew from the sea towards the land in the north slope of Alaska, you would cross from the water, over a narrow beach, and then to the tundra. From the air, that tundra would look like a landscape of room-sized polygonal shapes. Those shapes are the surface manifestations of the ice in the frozen ground below, a solidified earth known as permafrost.

Scientists long believed the solid permafrost extended offshore: from the tundra, below that narrow beach and below the seafloor declining at a gentle slope. They viewed that permafrost like solid brick, locking the subsurface — and the vast amounts of carbon it holds — in place.

But new research led by Micaela Pedrazas, who earned her masters at The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences working with Professor Bayani Cardenas, has upended that paradigm. They found permafrost to be mostly absent throughout the

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