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The penultimate deglaciation was characterized by a sub-millennial-scale warm event in the Heinrich Stadial 11(HS11), termed the 134-ka event. However, its precise timing and structure remain poorly constrained due to the lack of high-resolution and precisely dated records. We present an oxygen isotope record of a speleothem with well-developed annual lamina from Zhangjia Cave, located on the north margin of the Sichuan Basin, characterizing Asian summer monsoon (ASM) changes in the 134-ka event, which included an increase excursion of ca. 149 years and decrease excursion of ca. 200 years, inferred from 3.3‰ δ18O variations. This event also divided the weak ASM interval-II (WMI-II), corresponding to HS11, into two stages, the WMI-IIa 132.8–134.1 ka and WMI-IIb 134.4–136.4 ka. With a comparable climatic pattern globally, the 134-ka event is essentially similar to the millennial-scale events in last glacial–deglacial period. Particularly, the observed weak-strong-weak ASM sequence (138.8–132.8 ka) is largely controlled by changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) forced by the meltwater of northern high-latitude ice sheets. Moreover, our results underpin that AMOC, rather than the global ice volume, is more critical to ASM variations during the last two deglaciations.
The IntCal family of radiocarbon (14C) calibration curves is based on research spanning more than three decades. The IntCal group have collated the 14C and calendar age data (mostly derived from primary publications with other types of data and meta-data) and, since 2010, made them available for other sorts of analysis through an open-access database. This has ensured transparency in terms of the data used in the construction of the ratified calibration curves. As the IntCal database expands, work is underway to facilitate best practice for new data submissions, make more of the associated metadata available in a structured form, and help those wishing to process the data with programming languages such as R, Python, and MATLAB. The data and metadata are complex because of the range of different types of archives. A restructured interface, based on the “IntChron” open-access data model, includes tools which allow the data to be plotted and compared without the need for export. The intention is to include complementary information which can be used alongside the main 14C series to provide new insights into the global carbon cycle, as well as facilitating access to the data for other research applications. Overall, this work aims to streamline the generation of new calibration curves.
New stalagmites from Qadisha Cave (Lebanon) located at 1720 m above sea level provide a high-resolution and well-dated record for northern Mount Lebanon. The stalagmites grew discontinuously from 9.2 to 5.7 and at 3.5 ka, and they show a tendency to move from a more negative oxygen isotope signal at ~9.1 ka to a more positive signal at ~5.8 ka. Such a trend reflects a change from a wetter to a drier climate at high altitudes. The δ13C signal shows rapid shifts throughout the record and a decreasing trend toward more negative values in the mid-Holocene, suggesting enhanced soil activity. In the short-term trend, Qadisha stalagmites record rapid dry/wet changes on centennial scales, with a tendency to more rapid dry events toward the mid-Holocene. Such changes are characterized by overall good agreement between both geochemical proxies and stalagmite growth and might be affected by the seasonal variations in snow cover. The Qadisha record is in good agreement with other Levantine records, showing more humid conditions from 9 to 7 ka. After 7 ka, a drier climate seems to affect sites at both low- and high-altitude areas. The Qadisha record reflects uniquely mountainous climate characteristics compared with other records, specifically the effect of snow cover and its duration regulating the effective infiltration.
We present the results of two population surveys conducted 10 years apart (December 2010–February 2011 and December 2020–January 2021) of the Critically Endangered white-headed langur Trachypithecus leucocephalus in the Chongzuo White-Headed Langur National Nature Reserve, Guangxi Province, China. In the first survey, we recorded 818 individuals in 105 groups and 16 solitary adult males. In the second survey, we recorded 1,183 individuals in 128 groups and one solitary adult male. As a result of government policies, poaching for food and traditional medicine is no longer a primary threat to these langurs. However, severe forest loss and fragmentation caused by human activities could limit any future increase of this langur population.
The 4.2 ka event is widely presumed to be a globally widespread aridity event and has been linked to several episodes of societal changes across the globe. Whether this climate event impacted the cultural development in south-central China remains uncertain due to a lack of regional paleorainfall records. We present here stalagmite stable carbon isotope and trace element–based reconstruction of hydroclimatic conditions from south-central China. Our data reveal a sub–millennial scale (~5.6 to 4.3 ka) drying trend in the region followed by a gradual transition to wetter conditions during the 4.2 ka event (4.3–3.9 ka). Together with the existing archaeological evidence, our data suggest that the drier climate before 4.3 ka may have promoted the Shijiahe culture, while the pluvial conditions during the 4.2 ka event may have adversely affected its settlements in low-lying areas. While military conflicts with the Wangwan III culture may have accelerated the collapse of Shijiahe culture, we suggest that the joint effects of climate and the region's topography also played important causal roles in its demise.
Identifying and explaining the end of long-lived practices is a major challenge for anthropological archaeology. We present a high-precision uranium series dating (230Th/U) chronology of an undocumented aspect of Hawaiian religion: the use of corals as offerings in gardens. Our results from the upland gardens of Kealakekua (Kona District, Hawai`i Island) document the onset of religious offerings at the same time as farming in the area at around AD 1400, with no samples dating to after around AD 1635. There are similar conspicuous endings to coral offerings in temple sites on the small, isolated island of Nihoa and in the uplands of Maui. On Nihoa, the lack of coral offerings after AD 1606 can be reasonably linked to the abandonment of permanent settlement on the island. In upland Maui temple sites, as is the case in the upland gardens of Kealakekua, the end of coral offerings around AD 1600–1700 suggests a disruption to a long-lived ritual tradition at a time when other metrics point to the rise of state authority over religion.
This study examines the first precisely dated and temporally highly resolved speleothem record from Iberia that reconstructs the Oldest Dryas (OD). The onset of cold conditions in the study area, contemporary with the beginning of Heinrich Stadial 1, is recorded at 18.13 ± 0.08 ka, with a pronounced drop of 6.1‰ in δ13C in 250 years. Henceforth, stadial conditions depict a period of instability in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, peaking in freshwater input from iceberg melting during Heinrich Event 1. Anomalies in the δ18O of the stalagmite attributed to such a freshwater event are found from 16.17 to 15.89 ka. Such absolute dates given to the onset of the OD in Iberia and to the main iceberg discharges are reliable anchor points for non-absolute chronologies. Two periods are identified in the OD: OD-a (18.13–16.17 ka) is characterized by wet conditions and a faster growth rate, and OD-b (15.89–14.81 ka) exhibits relative dryness and a slower growth rate. The sudden release of fresh water is considered to be the reason for the disruption of rainfall patterns in eastern Iberia. The present study also highlights the existence of heterogeneous and complex hydrological conditions during the OD in Iberia when both Atlantic and Mediterranean realms are considered.
Radiocarbon (14C) ages cannot provide absolutely dated chronologies for archaeological or paleoenvironmental studies directly but must be converted to calendar age equivalents using a calibration curve compensating for fluctuations in atmospheric 14C concentration. Although calibration curves are constructed from independently dated archives, they invariably require revision as new data become available and our understanding of the Earth system improves. In this volume the international 14C calibration curves for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, as well as for the ocean surface layer, have been updated to include a wealth of new data and extended to 55,000 cal BP. Based on tree rings, IntCal20 now extends as a fully atmospheric record to ca. 13,900 cal BP. For the older part of the timescale, IntCal20 comprises statistically integrated evidence from floating tree-ring chronologies, lacustrine and marine sediments, speleothems, and corals. We utilized improved evaluation of the timescales and location variable 14C offsets from the atmosphere (reservoir age, dead carbon fraction) for each dataset. New statistical methods have refined the structure of the calibration curves while maintaining a robust treatment of uncertainties in the 14C ages, the calendar ages and other corrections. The inclusion of modeled marine reservoir ages derived from a three-dimensional ocean circulation model has allowed us to apply more appropriate reservoir corrections to the marine 14C data rather than the previous use of constant regional offsets from the atmosphere. Here we provide an overview of the new and revised datasets and the associated methods used for the construction of the IntCal20 curve and explore potential regional offsets for tree-ring data. We discuss the main differences with respect to the previous calibration curve, IntCal13, and some of the implications for archaeology and geosciences ranging from the recent past to the time of the extinction of the Neanderthals.
Since December 2019, China has experienced a widespread outbreak of COVID-19. However, at the early stage of outbreak, investigations revealed a variety of patterns resulting in the transmission of COVID-19. Thus, it is essential to understand the transmission types and the potential for sustained human-to-human transmission. Moreover, the information regarding the characteristics of transmission helps in coordinating the current screening programme, and controlling and containing measures, and also, helps in deciding the appropriate quarantine duration. Thus, this investigation reports an outbreak of COVID-19 in a family residing in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China during the month of January−February 2020.
We aimed to investigate the associations between school-level characteristics and obesity among Chinese primary school children with consideration of individual-level characteristics.
This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2015/2016. School-level characteristics were assessed using an interviewer-administered school questionnaire, and a ‘school-based obesity prevention index’ was further developed. Individual-level characteristics were collected by self-administered questionnaires. Objectively measured height and weight of students were collected, and obesity status was classified according to the International Obesity Task Force criteria for Asian children. Generalised linear mixed models were used to estimate the associations among the school- and individual-level characteristics and obesity of students.
Thirty-seven primary schools from an urban and a rural district of Beijing, China.
School staffs, 2201 students and their parents.
The school-based obesity prevention index involved the number of health professionals, availability of students’ health records, monitoring students’ nutrition status, frequency of health education activities, reporting achievements of obesity prevention activities to parents, duration of physical activity during school time and availability of playground equipment. The prevalence of obesity was lower in schools with the higher index value compared with that in schools with the lower index value (OR 0·56; 95 % CI 0·40, 0·79). Some individual-level characteristics were negatively associated with childhood obesity: liking sports, duration of screen time ≤2 h/d, perceived lower eating speed, parental non-overweight/obesity.
Irrespective of individual-level characteristics, the specific school-level characteristics had a cumulative effect on obesity among Chinese primary school children. Further school-based obesity intervention should consider these characteristics simultaneously.
Health system reform is considered a tough issue worldwide. Great efforts have been made toward health system building and strengthening. However, it is still unclear which health system is appropriate for different countries. This study aimed to systematically compare the characteristics of the establishment periods between eighty-eight counties of National Health Service (NHS) and Social Health Insurance (SHI).
Forty-eight NHS countries and forty SHI countries with data availability were selected. The establishment years of current health systems and other eighteen indicators in economics, society, population and health during establishment periods were collected. Comparison between NHS and SHI was conducted by descriptive analysis of every indicator.
Most NHS countries were established during the cold war, while SHI had been set up since the cold war ended. The median of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, urbanization rate and aging rate of SHI were USD 1535 in current dollars, 58.2 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively; compared with USD 1387, 41.2 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively of NHS. NHS countries had a smaller total population, lower mortality rate and elderly dependency ratio, while the birth rate and children's dependency ratio were higher. SHI countries showed a higher life expectancy and lower mortality rate in infants and children. NHS countries spent less in total health expenditure and a lower proportion of GDP. The median health expenditure per capita of SHI and NHS were USD 188 and USD 131 in current dollars, respectively. There was little difference among maternal mortality rates, and public and private health expenditure proportions.
NHS and SHI countries had different characteristics during the health system establishment periods. NHS was established earlier than SHI overall, so that SHI revealed higher levels in economic and social development. Health outcomes of NHS countries were slightly lower than SHI ones, while health expenditure was more in SHI countries. Specific social, economic, demographic and health conditions should be considered when countries are building their own health systems.
Little is known about terrestrial climate dynamics in the Levant during the penultimate interglacial-glacial period. To decipher the palaeoclimatic history of the Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 6 glacial period, a well-dated stalagmite (~194 to ~154 ka) from Kanaan Cave on the Mediterranean coast in Lebanon was analyzed for its petrography, growth history, and stable isotope geochemistry. A resolved climate record has been recovered from this precisely U–Th dated speleothem, spanning the late MIS 7 and early MIS 6 at low resolution and the mid–MIS 6 at higher resolution. The stalagmite grew discontinuously from ~194 to ~163 ka. More consistent growth and higher growth rates between ~163 and ~154 ka are most probably linked to increased water recharge and thus more humid conditions. More distinct layering in the upper part of the speleothem suggests strong seasonality from ~163 ka to ~154 ka. Short-term oxygen and carbon isotope excursions were found between ~155 and ~163 ka. The inferred Kanaan Cave humid intervals during the mid–MIS 6 follow variations of pollen records in the Mediterranean basins and correlate well with the synthetic Greenland record and East Asian summer monsoon interstadial periods, indicating short warm/wet periods similar to the Dansgaard-Oeschger events during MIS 4–3 in the eastern Mediterranean region.
Northeastern (NE) India experiences extraordinarily pronounced seasonal climate, governed by the Indian summer monsoon (ISM). The vulnerability of this region to floods and droughts calls for detailed and highly resolved paleoclimate reconstructions to assess the recurrence rate and driving factors of ISM changes. We use stable oxygen and carbon isotope ratios (δ18O and δ13C) from stalagmite MAW-6 from Mawmluh Cave to infer climate and environmental conditions in NE India over the last deglaciation (16–6ka). We interpret stalagmite δ18O as reflecting ISM strength, whereas δ13C appears to be driven by local hydroclimate conditions. Pronounced shifts in ISM strength over the deglaciation are apparent from the δ18O record, similarly to other records from monsoonal Asia. The ISM is weaker during the late glacial (LG) period and the Younger Dryas, and stronger during the Bølling-Allerød and Holocene. Local conditions inferred from the δ13C record appear to have changed less substantially over time, possibly related to the masking effect of changing precipitation seasonality. Time series analysis of the δ18O record reveals more chaotic conditions during the late glacial and higher predictability during the Holocene, likely related to the strengthening of the seasonal recurrence of the ISM with the onset of the Holocene.
We examined the in vitro developmental competence of parthenogenetic activation (PA) oocytes activated by an electric pulse (EP) and treated with various concentrations of AZD5438 for 4 h. Treatment with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of PA oocytes in comparison with 0, 20, or 50 µM AZD5438 treatment (46.4% vs. 34.5%, 32.3%, and 24.0%, respectively; P < 0.05). The blastocyst formation rate was higher in the group treated with AZD5438 for 4 h than in the groups treated with AZD5438 for 2 or 6 h (42.8% vs. 38.6% and 37.2%, respectively; P > 0.05). Furthermore, 66.67% of blastocysts derived from these AZD5438-treated PA oocytes had a diploid karyotype. The blastocyst formation rate of PA and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos was similar between oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 2 mM 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h and those activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h (11.11% vs. 13.40%, P > 0.05). In addition, the level of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was significantly decreased in oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2) and pluripotency-related genes (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2) were checked by RT-PCR; however, there were no differences between the AZD5438-treated and non-treated control groups. Our results demonstrate that porcine oocyte activation via an EP in combination with AZD5438 treatment can lead to a high blastocyst formation rate in PA and SCNT experiments.
New speleothem records from northeastern Iberian caves provide data to explore the climatic patterns during the Holocene. We present δ13C and Mg/Ca from three speleothems from two different caves located in the Iberian Range allowing replication of the climatic signal for several millennia. Through the integration of those stalagmites covering since the Holocene onset to 2 ka, the early Holocene (11.7–8.5 ka) appears as the wettest interval. A marked change towards aridity is observed during the middle Holocene (8.5–4.8 ka) and an increase of humidity afterwards (4.8–2 ka). This three-part pattern, contrasting with other Iberian sequences, seems to be associated with the different role that seasonality has played in the response of different proxies (or records) to changes in water availability. Interpreting our speleothem records as changes in winter-spring precipitation along the Holocene allows reconciling previous data on hydrological variability from the western Mediterranean borderlands.
A stalagmite with high 238U content from Yangkou Cave, China, revealed the evolution of the Asian summer monsoon (ASM) between 49.1 and 59.5 ka, and the δ18O values recorded Dansgaard/Oeschger (D/O) events 13–17. The Yangkou record shows a relatively gradual transition into the D/O 14 and 16 events. The discrepancy between the abrupt and gradual transitions of D/O 14 in the records from northern and southern China, respectively, suggests different responses of the ASM to climate changes in the high northern latitudes. The higher resolution δ18O record and more precise 230Th dating indicate that the timing of D/O 14 and 17 in the Hulu records at 53 and 58 ka should be shifted to 54.3 and 59 ka, respectively. The gradual strengthening of the ASM at the onsets of D/O 16 and 14 in our record is different from the abrupt temperature rise in the northern high latitudes. Some other factors must contribute to this relatively gradual ASM change in southern China, but the actual reason is still unknown.
The ‘Mystery Interval’ (MI, 17.5−14.5 ka) was the first stage of the last deglaciation, a key interval for understanding mechanisms of glacial–interglacial cycles. To elucidate possible causes of the MI, here we present three high-resolution, precisely dated oxygen-isotope records of stalagmites from Qingtian and Hulu Caves in China, reflecting changes in the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) then. Based on well-established chronologies using precise 230Th dates and annual-band counting results, the two-cave δ18O profiles of ~7-yr resolution match well at decadal timescales. Both of the two-cave records document an abrupt weakening (2‰ of δ18O rise within 20 yr) in the EASM at ~16.1 ka, coinciding with the transition of the two-phased MI reconstructed from New Mexico's Lake Estancia. Our results indicate that the maximum southward displacement of the Intertropical Convergence Zone and associated southward shift of polar jet stream may generate this two-phase feature of the MI during that time. We also discover a linear relationship among decreasing EASM intensity, rising atmospheric CO2 and weakening Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation between the MI and Younger Dryas episodes, suggesting a strong coupling of atmospheric/oceanic circulations in response to the millennial-scale forcing, which in turn regulates global climate changes and carbon cycles.
Speleothem growth requires humid climates sufficiently warm to stimulate soil CO2 production by plants. We compile 283 U/Th dates on 21 stalagmites from six cave systems in the NW coast of Spain to evaluate if there are patterns in stalagmite growth that are evidence of climatic forcing. In the oldest stalagmites, from marine oxygen isotope stage (MIS) 7–5, growth persists through the glacial period. Hiatuses and major reductions in growth rate occur during extreme minima in summer insolation. Stalagmites active during the last interglaciation cease growth at the MIS 5–4 boundary (74 ka), when regional sea-surface temperature cooled significantly. During MIS 3, only two stalagmites grew; rates were highest between 50 and 60 ka during the maximum in summer insolation. One stalagmite grew briefly at 41 ka, 36.5 and 28.6 ka, all during warm phases of the Dansgaard–Oeschger cycles. A pronounced Holocene optimum in stalagmite growth occurs from 9 to 6 ka. The cessation of most growth by 4.1 ka, coincident with broad increases in aridity over the Mediterranean and areas influenced by the North African Monsoon, suggest that regions such as NW Spain, with dominant Atlantic moisture sources, also experienced increased aridity at this time.
We present a shoreline-based, millennial-scale record of lake-level changes spanning 12.8–2.3 ka for a large closed-basin lake system on the southwestern Tibetan Plateau. Fifty-three radiocarbon and eight U–Th series ages of tufa and beach cement provide age control on paleoshorelines ringing the basin, supplemented by nineteen ages from shell and aquatic plant material from natural exposures generally recording lake regressions. Our results show that paleo-Ngangla Ring Tso exceeded modern lake level (4727 m asl) continuously between ~ 12.8 and 2.3 ka. The lake was at its highstand 135 m (4862 m asl) above the modern lake from 10.3 ka to 8.6 ka. This is similar to other closed-basin lakes in western Tibet, and coincides with peak Northern Hemisphere summer insolation and peak Indian Summer Monsoon intensity. The lake experienced a series of millennial-scale oscillations centered on 11.5, 10.8, 8.3, 5.9 and 3.6 ka, consistent with weak monsoon events in proxy records of the Indian Summer Monsoon. It is unclear whether these events were forced by North Atlantic or Indian Ocean conditions, but based on the abrupt lake-level regressions recorded for Ngangla Ring Tso, they resulted in significant periodic reductions in rainfall over the western Tibetan Plateau throughout the Holocene.