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New Research Adds Another Branch to the Evolutionary Tree of Life

New Research Adds Another Branch to the Evolutionary Tree of Life 86

Tree House

The Tree of Life is a metaphor established by Charles Darwin to give some perspective to evolution. Every living organism on Earth has a home somewhere on the Tree, and by looking at it, we can see how species relate to one another.

While we’ve known about a type of microbe called hemimastigotes since the 1800s, it turns out we were totally wrong about where they fit on the Tree of Life — because they didn’t fit on any of the existing branches.

Home of Its Own

In a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, researchers from Dalhousie University detail their discovery that hemimastigotes are so unlike anything else in the Tree of Life, they require the creation of a brand-new branch.

“It was clear from our analyses that hemimastigotes didn’t belong to any known kingdom-level group, or even to a known ‘super-group’ of several kingdoms together, like the one that includes both animals and fungi,” researcher Alastair Simpson said in a news release.

“This one little collection of organisms is a whole new group at that level, all on its own,” she continued. “It’s a branch of the Tree of Life that has been separate for a very long time, perhaps more than a billion years, and we had no information on it whatsoever.”

Evolution of Tech

The Dalhousie team was only able to reach this conclusion thanks to an advanced genetic analysis technique that wasn’t available when scientists first discovered hemimastigotes.

“That such a distinct form of life could be hiding literally under our feet,” Simpson said in the press release, “is a sharp reminder about how little we still know about the diversity of life on Earth.”

And as our technologies advance even further, there’s no telling what else we might discover — or how many other branches we might add to the Tree of Life.

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Planet Earth

Scientists – It is much colder today than in the last 8,000 years

Scientists - It is much colder today than in the last 8,000 years 89
Ted Scambos / NSIDC

Undisputed temperature reconstructions from around the world show that for much of the Holocene (last 10,000 years), the planet was much warmer than it is today.

Kenneth recently wrote how many new studies of glacier and sea ice sizes show that Iceland is 2-4 ° C colder today than it has been in the past 8,000 years. Only the late 19th century was a little colder.

This post was posted on WUWT and the author provided additional graphics there from other parts of the world showing that the early Holocene was warmer around the world.

First, South America, which shows 100 years ago that it was much warmer from the 1930s to the 1950s than it is today:

Scientists - It is much colder today than in the last 8,000 years 90

Next, we have a 7000-year reconstruction of the Canadian Arctic temperature:

Scientists - It is much colder today than in the last 8,000 years 91

Note that, as many of us already know, the Arctic was much warmer in the early Holocene than it is today.

Finally, let’s take a look at the Swiss Alps, which are 9,000 years old:

Scientists - It is much colder today than in the last 8,000 years 92

Here we see that today it is very cold in the Alps compared to the early Holocene. Old tree trunks found under the glaciers confirm this.

A WUWT reader added that he has “a lot more of this type of graphs, which show very clearly that the whole wolrld has been much warmer for much of the last 10,000 years than it is now.”

And there are really a lot of them!

Medieval warm period, confirmed by hundreds of works

Sebastian Lüning’s remarkable and outstanding Medieval Warm Period reference map, shows hundreds of climatic reconstructions from this period. There we find a lot of research that shows that there is nothing unusual about today’s climate compared to what it was 1000 years ago.

Here are 80 charts from 58 peer-reviewed articles showing the same.

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Planet Earth

Polar vortex: “wild” winter is coming in the US, Northern Europe and East Asia after the 16th of January

Polar vortex: "wild" winter is coming in the US, Northern Europe and East Asia after the 16th of January 93

In the upper atmosphere above the North Pole, experts saw a rapidly swirling vortex of cold air that could bring severe frosts to the United States, Northern Europe and East Asia. Serious cold snap and snowy weather are expected after January the 16th.

Snowfalls and a cold snap hit South Korea since the start of 2021, hitting historic snow maximums and temperatures. In the country, for the first time since 1964, television and newer communications are sending people cold snap warnings:

https://twitter.com/sonyeoljin/status/1346841272347082752?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

The situation is similar in Japan, where a new snow storm hit historic highs:

On January 7, the thermometer In Beijing dropped to -20 degrees Celsius, breaking the 1966 record. In other regions of China, the temperature is also not sugar, and you can only move around in special uniforms:

The cold even reached Taiwan, where the temperature in some areas dropped below freezing point, snow poured down and people realized that rice terraces can be used as a ski jump:

Even more snow went to Spain, where on January 6, 2021, a temperature of -34.1 ° C was recorded – the lowest on record. After that, a snow storm hit the country, which has not been seen for 80 years:

https://youtu.be/pHU533Krs5M

The same thing happens in Canada and in the northern states of the United States:

It seems that after a stratospheric warming, the subpolar vortex began to split:

The vortex itself is a standard phenomenon. However, this time experts were surprised at his movement. It is possible that in the near future it will be divided into two parts. 

Scientists associate the strange behavior with the changed climate in the Arctic, which has become warmer. From September to December, the amount of ice cover decreased significantly.

The polar vortex is a low-pressure region located in the stratosphere and filled with cold air. When the jet stream of air that holds the vortex weakens, the low pressure area moves south. 

As the ice shrinks, more moisture will move inland. It will turn to snow, so snowfalls are expected. Snow, in turn, reflects heat, leading to a cold snap.

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Hospital in Naples was evacuated after a new, huge sinkhole appeared

Hospital in Naples was evacuated after a new, huge sinkhole appeared 94

Eyewitnesses said they heard a loud crash at dawn when a huge hole in the ground formed outside the Ponticelli Ospedale del Mare hospital in eastern Naples.

Early in the morning of January 8, 2021, a sinkhole occurred in the parking lot of a clinic in Naples. The depth of the formed cavity is about 20 meters, the total area of ​​the hole is about 2,000 square meters.

No casualties were found at the scene; firefighters say the sinkhole “affected an area of ​​about 500 square meters” and engulfed several cars parked near the hospital.

As the press writes and as a little can be seen from the videos, rescuers and firefighters were running around the pit together with the governor of the area.  But who should be there in the forefront are Italian geologists, since Naples stands in the very center of the volcanic system known as the Phlegrean Fields.

If the surface collapsed, moreover – the surface reinforced with concrete and reinforced from below with some kind of communications, then we are talking about serious soil deformations caused by the activity of magma.

Italy has been in doubt since the summer of 2020, because swarms were observed there in very atypical places in May, and according to the forecasts of old Italian seismologists, who had witnessed many strong earthquakes, it should have boomed in the August region.

Fortunately, nothing bad happened to Italy and there was no big earthquake. But, since there are swarms, it means that something is being prepared, the magma is gathering strength. 

Following this particular sinkhole event – an obvious sign that a major earthquake in Italy is already very close.

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