Research by scientists from Oxford and Exeter universities, published this week, has shed new light on the cause of a series of ice ages that affected the earth 475 million years ago. Until now, it has been assumed that global cooling began 200 to 300 million years ago with the emergence of large plants with large rooting systems. This new research reveals a significant change in climate occurring 100 million years earlier in the Ordovician Period (488-444 million years ago), due to the emergence of the first land plants.Where a rise in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere causes an increase in temperature, a decrease results in the cooling of the climate. Scientists claim that the interaction of the first land plants with rocks resulted in a significant decrease in the carbon dioxide levels due to silicate weathering – the process by which mosses extract nutrients from rock formations by dissolving them with acid, leading to carbon dioxide reacting with the rocks and being removed from the atmosphere. The expansion of non-vascular plants (mosses) around 475 million years ago may therefore have accelerated this chemical weathering, causing a fall in atmospheric carbon dioxide and triggering formation of the polar ice caps.Professor Liam Dolan from University of Oxford Department of Plant Sciences, one of scientists involved in the research, told Cherwell, “The most important message is that the invasion of the land by plants, a pivotal time in the history of the planet, brought about huge climate changes. It should also remind us that the removal of large areas of the world’s vegetation, which act as carbon stores, will increase atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and cause dramatic climate change.”Third year Earth Scientist Tom Phelan commented, “Currently climate change is a global problem and scientific research into previous climatic events is not only important for the scientific community but also for the global community.” He added, “The recent discovery is important as it is clear evidence for the world to see that deforestation and removing plants from the Earth’s surface is only going to enhance the rate of climate change.”Timothy Lenton from Exeter University, who headed the team of researchers, added, “Although plants are still cooling the Earth’s climate by reducing the atmospheric carbon levels, they cannot keep up with the speed of today’s human-induced climate change. It would take millions of years for plants to remove current carbon emissions from the atmosphere.”
Euro 2020 QualifiersFederico BernardeschifootballGreece First Published: October 13, 2019, 11:17 AM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Rome: Italy punched their ticket to Euro 2020 with a 2-0 win over Greece in Rome on Saturday to turn the page on their failure to qualify for the last World Cup.Decked out in green, a colour they had worn just once before at the Stadio Olimpico back in 1954, Roberto Mancini’s new-look Azzurri pushed their perfect run in Group J to seven games for a maximum 21 points. Despite being pegged back by the Greeks for over an hour the Italians confirmed their dominance and are now assured of finishing top of the group.Chelsea midfielder Jorginho slotted in a penalty after 63 minutes in the Italian capital with Juventus forward Federico Bernardeschi scoring the second goal on 78 minutes.”I want to thank the fans at the Olimpico for supporting us, even in the first half when we were not brilliant, maybe a little nervous at being back in Rome,” said Mancini.#EuropeanQualifiers🇪🇺📸 An emotional night at #Rome’s #StadioOlimpico.Superb support from the fans and a huge achievement for the team, who qualify for #EURO2020 with 3⃣ games to spare.Keep marching forwards! 👏👏👏#VivoAzzurro 🇮🇹#ItalyGreece🇬🇷 #ITAGRE pic.twitter.com/WC2maFOd1Q— Italy (@azzurri) October 12, 2019 Italy are one of 12 host nations for Euro 2020 with the opening match to be staged at the Stadio Olimpico.And Mancini said he hoped that four-time world champions Italy could relive the “magical nights” of the 1990 World Cup in Rome.”We hope that they will return,” said Mancini, “and that in June it will be even more beautiful.”Italy will play at least two of their pool matches in Rome next June.Mancini has rebuilt Italy since their stunning failure to qualify for Russia 2018 and they reached Euro 2020 with a record three games to spare.”I’m happy and proud to have helped this team get out of a complicated situation,” said the 54-year-old former Italy international.”We’ve managed to create a team in a short space of time.”It wasn’t easy but we have to thank the players who quickly adapted to each other.”It’s a team with character, who play with pride, never give up and fight until the end, but who still need to improve.”We have a lot of work, but we’re not far off the best European teams.”#EuropeanQualifiers🇪🇺🗣 #Mancini: “Thank you to the fans, we’re dedicating this win to the children of the Bambino Gesù hospital”The article ➡️ https://t.co/sti8JRSXAs#Gravina: “A dream come true, thanks to all involved”#VivoAzzurro 🇮🇹#ItalyGreece🇬🇷 #ITAGRE pic.twitter.com/rPuHipGWLR— Italy (@azzurri) October 12, 2019 MEMORIES OF 1968The Azzurri had dominated early but were pinned back by the Greeks who had the best chance of the first half with Gianluigi Donnarumma superbly denying Dimitris Limnios.Both Lorenzo Insigne and Nicolo Barella were off target with Italy losing Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa to injury before the break to be replaced by Bernardeschi.Ciro Immobile threatened twice after the break with Alexandros Paschalakis turning away the Lazio forward’s header.But the Italians were awarded a penalty after Andreas Bouchalakis used his hand to block a goal-bound Insigne effort.Jorginho stepped up to convert sending Paschalakis the wrong way to the delight of the 60,000 crowd in the capital.It was the Chelsea player’s third goal for Italy, all from the spot.Bernardeschi then struck from distance 12 minutes from time, his shot taking a hefty deflection to deceive Paschalakis and guarantee Mancini his eighth consecutive win as coach.”We’ll go to the Euros, to put on a good show and to go all the way because it’s been a long time that the Euro is missing from the Italy trophy cabinet,” Mancini warned Friday. Italy won their only European title back in 1968.European champions in 2004, Greece are fifth in the six-team group with five points, and next play fourth-placed Bosnia and Herzegovina.”Italy are a great footballing nation,” said Greek coach John Van’t Schip.”They have overcome the crisis they went through. “They can be a very dangerous outsider or even one of the favourites for the Euros.”
Mexican football star Alan Pulido was kidnapped Sunday in the northern border state of Tamaulipas, a state official said.Pulido is a forward for Olympiacos of Greece and was part of Mexico’s 2014 World Cup team, though he wasn’t called up for the Copa America tournament that starts this coming week.The official said the 25-year-old player was kidnapped after leaving a party near his hometown of Ciudad Victoria, the capital of a state that has been plagued by organized crime. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss a case under investigation.Authorities have not given more details about the kidnapping or its motive.He debuted and played several seasons with the club Tigres of Monterrey, whose Twitter account expressed solidarity with the player’s family “in the difficult situation they are experiencing.”Pulido left Tigres in 2014 to play in Europe, though he has been in a dispute with the Mexican club about whether his contract there continues to be valid. National team coach Carlos Osorio recently said Pulido has the quality to be on the squad, but was left off due to the legal dispute.In the most recent season, he scored five times in eight appearances with Olympiacos.