Guided by ocean plankton fossils and climate models, scientists have calculated just how cold it got on Earth during the depths of the last ice age, when immense ice sheets covered large parts of North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
The average global temperature during the period known as the Last Glacial Maximum from roughly 23,000 to 19,000 years ago was about 7.8°C, 7°C colder than last year, the researchers said Aug. 26. Certain regions were much cooler than the global average, they found. The polar regions cooled far more than the tropics, with the Arctic region 14°C colder than the global average.
The researchers made their calculations with the aid of chemical measurements on tiny fossils of zooplankton and the preserved structures of fats from other types of plankton that change in response to water temperature — what they called a “temperature proxy.” This information was then plugged into climate model simulations to calculate average global temperatures.
Photo: Ruters 照片：路透
“Past climates are the only information we have about what really happens when the Earth cools or warms to a large degree. So by studying them, we can better construe what to expect in the future,” said University of Arizona paleoclimatologist Jessica Tierney, lead author of the research published in the journal Nature.
During the ice age, which lasted from about 115,000 to 11,000 years ago, large mammals well adapted to a cold climate, such as the mammoths, mastodons, woolly rhinos and saber-toothed cats, roamed the landscape.
Humans entered North America for the first time during the ice age, crossing a land bridge that once connected Siberia to Alaska with sea levels much lower than they are today. Human hunting is believed to have contributed to mass extinctions globally of many species at the end of the ice age.
“What is interesting is that Alaska was not entirely covered with ice,” Tierney said. “There was an ice-free corridor that allowed humans to travel across the Bering Strait, into Alaska. Central Alaska was actually not that much colder than today, so for ice age humans it might have been a relatively nice place to settle.”
1. plankton n. 浮游生物（fu2 you2 sheng1 wu4）
2. proxy n. 代理、替代（dai4 li3, ti4 dai4）
3. simulation n. 模擬（mo2 ni3）
4. construe v. 推斷、解釋（tui1 duan4, jie3 shi4）
5. adapt to phr. 適應（shi4 ying4）
6. mass extinction phr. 大滅絕（da4 mie4 jue2）
Since its premiere on Oct. 2, US comedy series Emily in Paris has caused a sensation across the world. The Web TV series, starring actress Lily Collins, tells the story of Emily, a young woman who moves from Chicago to Paris for a job, as she struggles both at work and in love while experiencing culture shock. The show has topped streaming giant Netflix’s global chart and is the most-watched show in Taiwan. But the American perspective of the lead character has offended some French critics, who say that the “City of Lights” is not just about berets, croissants and cafes,
This isn’t going to be an easy climb (2/5) 這趟路並不輕鬆（二） A: That was nice of that guy to help you up the slope, extending his hand and pulling you up. B: It was. I’m glad someone put that knotted rope there, but I would still have found it challenging pulling myself up that rock. A: I know. It’s a steep slope, the ground is slippery underfoot and there are hardly any footholds to help you. B: Perhaps we shouldn’t have come up this way so soon after the rains. It’s quite dangerous. A: 那個人真好，你爬上坡的時候還助你一臂之力 ，拉你一把。 B: 沒錯。幸好有人把打結的繩子綁在上面，可是我還是覺得爬上那塊岩石很難。 A: 我知道你的意思。這坡很陡，地又滑，腳下幾乎沒有著力點。 B: 我們或許不應該在下過雨之後這麼快就爬上來這裡。這還蠻危險的。 （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文:
Under the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, this year everyone has been washing their hands frequently and wearing masks. One result of this is that there have only been 33 cases of enterovirus in Tainan this year, which is far fewer than last year. On Monday last week, Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che visited a school to promote the correct ideas about preventing viral outbreaks. Huang urged everyone not to get complacent, saying that people should keep washing their hands every day to make the enterovirus go away. Tainan City Government held an enterovirus pledge activity under the banner of “Wash, rub,
A: We can rest here. This is a good place to catch our breath, drink some water and enjoy the waterfall. B: It’s not the highest waterfall I’ve ever seen, but I like the way the water is cascading down those fallen boulders. A: Can you see that rock halfway up the waterfall? Is that two people sitting on it? B: I think you’re right. It’s a great vantage point to see the top of the waterfall. I wonder how they got up there. A: 我們可以在這裡休息一下。這地方很適合喘口氣、喝點水，還有欣賞瀑布。 B: 雖然不是我見過最高的瀑布，但是我喜歡瀑布落在這些倒下的大石塊的樣子。 A: 你看到瀑布往上中間的石頭嗎？那是兩個人坐在上面嗎？ B: 說的對，那是看瀑布頂端的絕佳位置。不知道他們是怎麼爬上去的？ （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English 英文: