Scientists at Umeå University in Sweden are putting forward an entirely new picture of climate change and the first immigration of trees following the last Ice Age. Research shows that 8,000-14,000 years ago the climate was considerably warmer than was previously thought. When it was at its warmest 9,000-10,000 years ago, the timberline was 500 m higher than today, and leafy trees grew in the mountains. The spruce immigrated considerably earlier that was assumed until now, and it probably came from the west, not the east. What’s more, research provides some support for the hypothesis that humankind has affected the climate in more recent times. Deciduous trees are again being spotted in mountain terrain!
The project combines in a unique way a long-term historical perspective with more contemporary events. For example, the reasons for the ever warmer climate of the last hundred years are being analyzed. “This research adds strength to the suspicion that the warmer climate may be related to the influence of human activity on the environment,” says Professor Leif Kullman, who heads this comprehensive physical geographical research project at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University.
The spruce came from the west
Ulrika Bergfors Kriström | alphagalileo
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Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
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