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Physical sciences/Earth sciences/Geology/Geologic history/Geologic periods/Cenozoic era/Quaternary period/Pleistocene epoch

Scientists have recovered the first ancient human DNA from cave sediments lacking human skeletal remains.

AAAS CEO Rush Holt today expressed reservation regarding reports that President-elect Donald Trump plans to select Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who views human-caused climate change as unsettled, to run the Environmental Protection Agency.

Inspired by the historic ginkgo that has thrived in London's Kew Gardens since the 1760s, Yale botanist Peter Crane tells the story of the ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) tree in his book, Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot.
Perhaps the world's most distinctive tree, ginkgo has remained unchanged for more than two hundred million years. A living fossil, it survived the great ice ages and earned status in China when people discovered its medicinal usefulness about a thousand years ago. Today ginkgo, is beloved for the elegance of its fan-shaped leaves, prized for its edible nuts, and revered for its longevity.
Crane explores the history of the ginkgo from its mysterious origin through its proliferation, drastic decline, and ultimate resurgence. He highlights its cultural and social significance, its medicinal and nutritional uses, its power as a source of artistic and religious inspiration, and its importance as one of the world's most popular street trees.
In this podcast, Crane reads for us the first chapter of Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot.

Earth’s climate will warm in response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide compared to pre-industrial levels, but this increase may be slightly smaller than previous studies have estimated, researchers say.

This amount of warming, which refers specifically to global average surface air temperature, is called Earth’s climate sensitivity. Researchers need a better handle on this number in order to better assess the impacts of future climate change.

The frosty highlands of the Tibetan Plateau may have been an evolutionary cradle for woolly rhinos and other shaggy, cold-hardy creatures that roamed North America and Eurasia during the last Ice Age, according to a new study in Science.

The 2 September report describes fossils from an ancient species of woolly rhino that was roaming the Zanda Basin on the Tibetan Plateau 3.7 million years ago, sweeping snow out of its way with an elongated face and massive nasal horn.