Jul 1, 2017

How a 50,000-year-old forest reflects today's climate change

Natacha Pisarenko / AP

Researchers have discovered a preserved section of 50,000-year-old forest 10 miles off the coast of Alabama in 60 feet of water that might provide hints about how climate change could affect ecology, per The Washington Post.

How it formed: In its day, the forest was miles inland from the shoreline due to significantly lower sea levels, and it may have been quickly buried in a flood or some other disaster to preserve it in an oxygen-free environment.

How it was uncovered: A hurricane — perhaps 2004's Hurricane Ivan — removed as much as 10 feet of sand and sediment to uncover the forest, whose wood is still fresh enough to leak sap when cut.

What it means: The geology of the area around the forest gives scientists an insight into how rapid climate change can affect coastlines, especially due to quickly rising sea levels — one of the biggest areas of concern for today's shifting climate.

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Hong Kong police fire pepper pellets at demonstrators

Hong Kong riot policeissue a warning as they aim to clear away people gathered downtownon Wednesday. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong riot police have fired pepper pellets at activists and surrounded the Legislative Council during demonstrations against a bill proposing to criminalize "disrespect of the Chinese anthem" on Wednesday, per Reuters.

Why it matters: The bill is the latest concern pro-democracy protesters have that Chinese authorities are encroaching on the high degree of autonomy the former British colony has retained since it was returned to China in 1997.

Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Tear gas is fired as police clash with protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd outside the 3rd Precinct Police Precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Tuesday. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Minneapolis police used tear gas during clashes with protesters demanding justice Tuesday night for George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody, according to multiple news reports.

Driving the news: The FBI is investigating Floyd's death after video emerged of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for several minutes, ignoring protests that he couldn't breathe. Hundreds of protesters attended the demonstration at the intersection where Floyd died, per the Guardian.

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans Tuesday to make wearing face coverings mandatory statewide for most people over the age of 10 when inside public places like retailers, on public transportation and government buildings. He announced the measure, effective Friday, as coronavirus case numbers increased to 39,342.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.