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Both regions will likely experience droughts worse than any in the last millennium, and it may be difficult for humans to adapt to the change.

A new series of radiocarbon measurements from Japan’s Lake Suigetsu should help make radiocarbon dating more precise and accurate, especially for older objects, researchers report.

The work could be used to refine estimates of the ages of organic material by hundreds of years. Archaeologists, for example, may be able to further specify the timing of the extinction of Neandertals or the spread of modern humans into Europe. And climate scientists may better understand the chains of events that led to the advance and retreat of the ice sheets during the last glacial period.