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Taphonomy of insects in carbonates and amber

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      Instability and decay of the primary structure of DNA.

       T Lindahl (1993)
      Although DNA is the carrier of genetic information, it has limited chemical stability. Hydrolysis, oxidation and nonenzymatic methylation of DNA occur at significant rates in vivo, and are counteracted by specific DNA repair processes. The spontaneous decay of DNA is likely to be a major factor in mutagenesis, carcinogenesis and ageing, and also sets limits for the recovery of DNA fragments from fossils.
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        Increased damage from fires in logged forests during droughts caused by El Niño.

        In 1997-98, fires associated with an exceptional drought caused by the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) devastated large areas of tropical rain forests worldwide. Evidence suggests that in tropical rainforest environments selective logging may lead to an increased susceptibility of forests to fire. We investigated whether this was true in the Indonesian fires, the largest fire disaster ever observed. We performed a multiscale analysis using coarse- and high-resolution optical and radar satellite imagery assisted by ground and aerial surveys to assess the extent of the fire-damaged area and the effect on vegetation in East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. A total of 5.2 +/- 0.3 million hectares including 2.6 million hectares of forest was burned with varying degrees of damage. Forest fires primarily affected recently logged forests; primary forests or those logged long ago were less affected. These results support the hypothesis of positive feedback between logging and fire occurrence. The fires severely damaged the remaining forests and significantly increased the risk of recurrent fire disasters by leaving huge amounts of dead flammable wood.
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          Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels over phanerozoic time.

           R. Berner (1990)
          A new model has been constructed for calculating the level of atmospheric CO(2) during the past 570 million years. A series of successive steady states for CO(2) is used in order to calculate CO(2) level from a feedback function for the weathering of silicate minerals. Processes considered are: sedimentary burial of organic matter and carbonates; continental weathering of silicates, carbonates, and organic matter; and volcanic and metamorphic degassing of CO(2). Sediment burial rates are calculated with the use of an isotope mass-balance model and carbon isotopic data on ancient seawater. Weathering rates are calculated from estimates of past changes in continental land area, mean elevation, and river runoff combined with estimates of the effects of the evolution of vascular land plants. Past degassing rates are estimated from changes in the rate of generation of sea floor and the shift of carbonate deposition from platforms to the deep sea. The model results indicate that CO(2) levels were high during the Mesozoic and early Paleozoic and low during the Permo-Carboniferous and late Cenozoic. These results correspond to independently deduced Phanerozoic paleoclimates and support the notion that the atmospheric CO(2) greenhouse mechanism is a major control on climate over very long time scales.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
            Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
            Elsevier BV
            00310182
            January 2004
            January 2004
            : 203
            : 1-2
            : 19-64
            10.1016/S0031-0182(03)00643-6
            © 2004

            http://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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