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The Queen Elizabeth Islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago exhibit one of the most complex sea-ice regimes in the Northern Hemisphere. Time series of minimum monthly passive-microwave sea-ice area (1979−98), minimum sea-ice extent, melting degree-days (1961−98) and minimum sea ice from the new Canadian Ice Service digital database (1968−98) are examined. The extreme nature of the amount of sea-ice melt in the summers of 1998 and 1962 is evident in these time series. The 38 year record of minimum ice, to date, shows no significant trend. Details of the sea-ice behavior during summer 1998 were then examined within 13 individual sea-ice regimes. The multi-year fast-ice plugs in both Sverdrup Channel and Nansen Sound broke up and became truly mobile in 1998. Discussion focuses on the areas surrounding the multi-year plugs, relating sea-ice conditions to weather. Results emphasize the importance of the timing of synoptic events in combination with strong thermal preconditioning in determining the sea-ice conditions in this area during summer 1998.
St Andrews was of tremendous significance in medieval Scotland. Its importance remains readily apparent in the buildings which cluster the rocky promontory jutting out into the North Sea: the towers and walls of cathedral, castle and university provide reminders of the status and wealth of the city in the Middle Ages. As a centre of earthly and spiritual government, as the place of veneration forScotland's patron saint and as an ancient seat of learning, St Andrews was the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland. This volume provides the first full study of this special and multi-faceted centre throughout its golden age. The fourteen chapters use St Andrews as a focus for the discussion of multiple aspects of medieval life in Scotland. They examine church, spirituality, urban society andlearning in a specific context from the seventh to the sixteenth century, allowing for the consideration of St Andrews alongside other great religious and political centres of medieval Europe.
Michael Brown is Professor of Medieval Scottish History, University of St Andrews; Katie Stevenson is Keeper of Scottish History and Archaeology, National Museums Scotland and Senior Lecturer in Late Medieval History, University of St Andrews.
Contributors: Michael Brown, Ian Campbell, David Ditchburn, Elizabeth Ewan, Richard Fawcett, Derek Hall, Matthew Hammond, Julian Luxford, Roger Mason, Norman Reid, Bess Rhodes, Catherine Smith, Katie Stevenson, Simon Taylor, Tom Turpie.
Dendrochronological studies are being carried out on two conifer species in the Stanley River area of western Tasmania. The chronology for Huon pine (Lagarostrobos franklinii), with living trees up to 1400 yr old, extends back to 571 bc. Living celery-top pine (Phyllocladus aspleniifolius) trees are up to 500 yr old. Apart from living or recently felled trees, sections have been taken from 350 subfossil logs preserved in floodplain sediments. They range in age from >38 ka to modern, with good coverage for the periods 9–3.5 ka and from 2.5 ka to the present. We report here on 14C measurements of decadal samples from three early Holocene logs, between 10 and 9 ka bp, providing short (ca. 300-yr) records of atmospheric 14C variations when plotted against ring numbers. The southern hemisphere data from Tasmania can be compared and wiggle-matched with published 14C calibration curves from German oak and pine. One set of measurements covers the period, ca. 9280–8990 cal bp, overlapping the link between the Hohenheim “Main 9” and middle Holocene master oak chronologies. The other sets of measurements from Tasmania coincide; they span the period, ca. 9840–9480 cal bp, overlapping the end of the German Preboreal pine and the beginning of the oak chronologies. Our measurements confirm that this part of the calibration curve is a gently sloping 14C-age plateau (ca. 8900–8700 bp, between 10,000 and 9500 cal bp), and suggest interhemispheric 14C differences close to zero.
The ANTARES accelerator mass spectrometry facility at Lucas Heights Research Laboratory is operational and AMS measurements of 14C, 26Al and 36Cl are being carried out routinely. Measurement of 129I recently commenced and capabilities for other long-lived radioisotopes such as 10Be are being established. The overall aim of the facility is to develop advanced programs in Quaternary science, global climate change, biomedicine and nuclear safeguards.
Dendrochronological studies have begun on two conifer species in the Stanley River area of western Tasmania. The chronology extends to 273 BC for Huon pine (Lagarostrobos franklinii) and to AD 1450 for celery-top pine (Phyllocladus aspleniifolius). Apart from living or recently felled trees, sections have been taken from 58 logs preserved in floodplain sediments. Two of these logs have late Pleistocene ages, centered around 13.0 and 12.7 k 14C yr bp. Four logs are between 8 and 9 ka BP, and one is centered at 7.3 ka bp. The remaining logs have various ages between 6.2 ka BP and the present. 14C measurements have been performed on decadal samples from the two late Pleistocene logs, providing short (260-yr) records of atmospheric 14C variations when plotted against individual ring numbers. Decadal measurements on the 7300-yr-old log have been wiggle-matched with 14C calibration curves from German oak and bristlecone pine. Measurements for the period, AD 1600–1800, show good agreement with northern hemisphere results, and a nearly zero offset between the hemispheres.
Theory suggests that early experiences may calibrate the “threshold activity” of the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis in childhood. Particularly challenging or particularly supportive environments are posited to manifest in heightened physiological sensitivity to context. Using longitudinal data from the Family Life Project (N = 1,292), we tested whether links between maternal sensitivity and hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis activity aligned with these predictions. Specifically, we tested whether the magnitude of the within-person relation between maternal sensitivity and children's cortisol levels, a proxy for physiological sensitivity to context, was especially pronounced for children who typically experienced particularly low or high levels of maternal sensitivity over time. Our results were consistent with these hypotheses. Between children, lower levels of mean maternal sensitivity (7–24 months) were associated with higher mean cortisol levels across this period (measured as a basal sample collected at each visit). However, the magnitude and direction of the within-person relation was contingent on children's average levels of maternal sensitivity over time. Increases in maternal sensitivity were associated with contemporaneous cortisol decreases for children with typically low-sensitive mothers, whereas sensitivity increases were associated with cortisol increases for children with typically high-sensitive mothers. No within-child effects were evident at moderate levels of maternal sensitivity.
Recent studies suggest that sand can serve as a vehicle for exposure of humans to pathogens at beach sites, resulting in increased health risks. Sampling for microorganisms in sand should therefore be considered for inclusion in regulatory programmes aimed at protecting recreational beach users from infectious disease. Here, we review the literature on pathogen levels in beach sand, and their potential for affecting human health. In an effort to provide specific recommendations for sand sampling programmes, we outline published guidelines for beach monitoring programmes, which are currently focused exclusively on measuring microbial levels in water. We also provide background on spatial distribution and temporal characteristics of microbes in sand, as these factors influence sampling programmes. First steps toward establishing a sand sampling programme include identifying appropriate beach sites and use of initial sanitary assessments to refine site selection. A tiered approach is recommended for monitoring. This approach would include the analysis of samples from many sites for faecal indicator organisms and other conventional analytes, while testing for specific pathogens and unconventional indicators is reserved for high-risk sites. Given the diversity of microbes found in sand, studies are urgently needed to identify the most significant aetiological agent of disease and to relate microbial measurements in sand to human health risk.