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A Historic Heat Wave Roasts Siberia
Newly sequenced genomes from prehistoric hunter-gatherers in the region of Lake Baikal reveal connections with First Americans and across Eurasia. Using human population genetics, ancient pathogen genomics and isotope analysis, a team of researchers assessed the population history of the Lake Baikal region, finding the deepest connection to date between the peoples of Siberia and the Americas. The current study, published in the journal Cell , also demonstrates human mobility, and hence connectivity, across Eurasia during the Early Bronze Age.
Modern humans have lived near Lake Baikal since the Upper Paleolithic, and have left behind a rich archaeological record. Ancient genomes from the region have revealed multiple genetic turnovers and admixture events, indicating that the transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age was facilitated by human mobility and complex cultural interactions.
The climate has been warming rapidly in the Arctic for years, but even by those standards, a heat wave roasting northern Siberia for the past few weeks has been shocking. Wildfires are spreading. The fishing is meager, the mosquitoes ravenous. People are nailing their windows shut with foil and blankets, seeking refuge from the midnight sun. The town of Verkhoyansk, more than miles farther north than Anchorage, Alaska, topped degrees Fahrenheit last Saturday, possibly the hottest temperature ever recorded above the Arctic Circle.
The frozen ground, or permafrost, lies just below the surface across much of Russia — as well as swaths of Alaska, Canada, and Scandinavia. In some areas, including parts of northeastern Siberia, the permafrost contains large chunks of ice. With every hot Arctic summer, more of it thaws, flooding pastures, twisting roads, destabilizing buildings and eroding riverbanks.
The thawing permafrost has global consequences because it results in the release of greenhouse gases from the decomposition of organic material that had long been frozen. A group of scientists convened by the United Nations said last year that the process could unleash as much as billion tons of carbon by , potentially accelerating climate change.
For Russia, the warmer climate brings some benefits. Officials hope the receding sea ice will spur greater trade by ships crossing between Asia and Europe via the Arctic Ocean, and will further ease access to oil and gas under the sea.
Trans Siberian Express
It would be a lot of work to analyse them and none was likely to be human, she had been warned. The fossils were from Denisova Cave — an archaeological site in southern Siberia where, in , scientists had discovered a previously unknown group of ancient humans 1. Researchers had identified them, whom they named Denisovans, on the basis of DNA preserved in a finger bone, and that finding had made the remote shelter one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.
The Copernicus Climate Change Service reported that May was In May, surface temperatures were up to 10 °C above average in parts of Siberia. and up-to-date information related to our planet and its environment.
Official websites use. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. By: Steven M. A suite of new accelerator-mass spectrometer AMS radiocarbon ages provides the first reliable chronology for late Quaternary sediments in Lake Baikal. In this large, highly oligotrophic lake, biogenic and authigenic carbonate are absent, and plant macrofossils are extremely rare.
Total organic carbon is therefore the primary material available for dating. Several problems are associated with the TOC ages. One is the mixture of carbon sources in TOC, not all of which are syndepositional in age. This problem manifests itself in apparent ages for the sediment surface that are greater than zero. The other major problem with dating Lake Baikal sediments is the very low carbon contents of glacial-age deposits, which makes them extremely susceptible to contamination with modern carbon.
This problem can be minimized by careful sampling and handling procedures.
Current Local Time in Siberia, Russia
Situated in south-east Siberia, the 3. Known as the ‘Galapagos of Russia’, its age and isolation have produced one of the world’s richest and most unusual freshwater faunas, which is of exceptional value to evolutionary science. Situado al sudeste de Siberia, este lago tiene una superficie de 3. Het 3,15 miljoen hectare grote Baikal meer is het oudste 25 miljoen jaar oud en diepste 1.
So she flew to Siberia to collect more bone samples that had been been found at another Siberian site, Ust’-Ishim, and date to the Initial Upper Palaeolithic. Similar work at other archaeological sites in Siberia, including.
Denisova cave in southern Siberia has been a rich source of ancient-human remains. Neanderthals and Denisovans might have lived side by side for tens of thousands of years, scientists report in two papers in Nature 1 , 2. The long-awaited studies are based on the analysis of bones, artefacts and sediments from Denisova Cave in southern Siberia, which is dotted with ancient-human remains. Soviet archaeologists began unravelling the story of Denisova Cave, at the foot of the Altai Mountains, in the early s.
Since then, scientists have found the fragmentary remains of nearly a dozen ancient humans at the site. The cave became world famous in , after an analysis of the DNA from a tiny hominin finger bone found that the creature was distinct from both modern humans and Neanderthals 3. It belonged to a previously unknown hominin group, later named Denisovans. Additional sequencing of the DNA in bone remains from the cave found that Denisovans were a sister group to Neanderthals, and might once have lived across Asia — where they interbred with the ancestors of some humans now living there 4.
Many scientists worry that disturbances in the cave, such as animal burrows, have scrambled its contents such that remains and artefacts no longer sit in sediments of similar age. To surmount those challenges, researchers led by Jacobs and Wollongong geochronologist Richard Roberts used a dating technique that determines when individual grains of soil were last exposed to light 1. This allowed them to identify regions of the cave in which the soil had been disturbed so that adjacent grains returned wildly different dates.
They could then omit those areas when dating sediments in the same geological layer as hominin remains and tools.
Ancient Siberia was home to previously unknown humans, say scientists
The Prehistory of Siberia is marked by several archaeologically distinct cultures. In the Chalcolithic , the cultures of western and southern Siberia were pastoralists , while the eastern taiga and the tundra were dominated by hunter-gatherers until the late Middle Ages and even beyond. Substantial changes in society, economics and art indicate the development of nomadism in the Central Asian steppes in the first millennium BC.
Scholarly research of the archaeological background of the region between the Urals and the Pacific began in the reign of Peter the Great , who ordered the collection of Scythian gold hoards and thereby rescued the contents of several robbed graves before they were melted down.
con-nection to date between the peoples of Siberia and the Americas IMAGE: Excavation in of the Ust’-Kyakhta-3 site located on right.
Research at the Center for the Study of the First Americans is interdisciplinary and focused on the development and synthesis of new knowledge on the peopling of the Americas. To address questions about the first Americans, Center faculty and students conduct field investigations at archaeological sites in northeast Asia, Alaska, Canada, the 48 contiguous United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America. We prospect for late Pleistocene sites using geoarchaeological methods.
We determine the age of important sites using different dating techniques. We analyze ancient artifact, animal, and plant assemblages from early sites that can provide important insights into the technologies, subsistence strategies, and settlement patterns of the First Americans and their ancestors in the Old World. We collaborate with molecular biologists to recover ancient DNA from archaeological sites to address genetic relationships between the ancient peoples of the Old and New World.
Copernicus comments on unusual temperatures in Siberia
It was cold, remote and involved picking fights with woolly mammoths — but it seems ancient Siberia 30, years ago was home to a hardy and previously unknown group of humans. Scientists say the discovery could help solve longstanding mysteries about the ancestors of native North Americans. While it is commonly believed the ancestors of native North Americans arrived from Eurasia via a now submerged land bridge called Beringia, exactly which groups crossed and gave rise to native North American populations has been difficult to unpick.
Using human population genetics, ancient pathogen genomics and isotope analysis, a team of researchers assessed the population history of the Lake Baikal region, finding the deepest con-nection to date between the peoples of Siberia and the Americas. The current study, published in the journal Cell , also demonstrates human mobility, and hence connectivity, across Eurasia during the Early Bronze Age. Modern humans have lived near Lake Baikal since the Upper Paleolithic, and have left behind a rich archaeological record.
Ancient genomes from the region have revealed multiple genetic turnovers and admixture events, indicating that the transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age was facilitated by human mobility and complex cultural interactions. The nature and timing of these interactions, however, remains largely unknown. A new study published in the journal Cell reports the findings of 19 newly sequenced ancient human genomes from the region of Lake Baikal, including one of the oldest reported from that region.
Led by the Department of Archaeogenetics at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, the study illuminates the population history of the region, revealing deep connections with the First Peoples of the Americas, dating as far back as the Upper Paleolithic period, as well as connectivity across Eurasia during the Early Bronze Age.