Showing posts from October, 2016

The First Marine Park in the Antarctic

Around one-third of the world's Adélie penguins live in what will become Antarctica's largest Marine Protected Area (credit: A. Turney/Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014) It’s taken more than five years of bruising negotiations but on Friday the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources made the wonderful announcement that the Ross Sea will become the first ever Marine Protected Area in the south. In Hobart the European Union and 24 nations hammered out a deal that more than one million square kilometres – the largest remaining pristine marine ecosystem left on the planet – will be protected for at least 35 years, a first in international waters. The practical upshot is fishing will be banned in a region equivalent in size to the combined areas of France and Spain where one-third of the world's Adélie penguins, one third of all Antarctic petrels, and over half of all South Pacific Weddell seals live. This new marine park will create a

Understanding what happened when at the end of the last ice age

We're very excited. We have a new research paper out using swamp kauri called 'Decadally resolved Lateglacial radiocarbon evidence from New Zealand kauri'. Using ancient trees buried in bogs in Northland, we've been able to stitch together a decade-by-decade record of atmospheric radioactive carbon levels during the end of the last ice age. The result is we have tied together tree-ring records from Europe and New Zealand to significantly improve the radiocarbon timescale, allowing archaeologists and Earth scientists to better understand what happened when over the past 14,200 years. It's taken more than ten years of research but it feels like we've made a big step forward! Swamp kauri over 10,000 years old If you'd like to learn more, the research paper is published in the Cambridge University Press journal Radiocarbon at