Recent large-scale groundwater extraction by humans has slightly modified the Earth’s axis of rotation.
Now, new research examines the interrelationship between groundwater stress, aquifer depletion, and land subsidence using remote sensing and model-based data sets through machine learning technology.
Scientists from the Desert Research Institute (DRI), Colorado State University and the Missouri University of Science and Technology are studying the impact and consequences of groundwater extraction around the world.
This prompted them to map the lost groundwater to address the limitations of current methods, which indicate a loss of groundwater storage on a global scale.
“Our study places land subsidence that occurs as a result of excessive groundwater pumping in a global context,” said Fahim Hassan, a doctoral candidate at Colorado State University and lead author of the study.
The study used methods such as remote sensing, model-based data sets, and machine learning methods to analyze and measure phenomena.
After understanding the mechanisms that lead to land subsidence and aquifer collapse, scientists have succeeded in creating a tool that provides accurate predictions of global land subsidence.
The map serves as a valuable tool to assess the spatial extents of subsidence in known affected areas and identify unknown areas experiencing groundwater stress, thus assisting in the development of sustainable groundwater management practices.
The model predicted the magnitude of global land subsidence at a high spatial resolution of 1.24 miles (2 km), estimated the loss of aquifer storage, and identified the main drivers of subsidence.
The loss of 4.1 miles (17 cubic kilometers) annually globally is equivalent to the volume of 7,000 Giza pyramids. The team revealed that the loss of groundwater reserves is permanent, reducing the amount of water that can be captured and stored.
Moreover, the research underscores the need for sustainable groundwater management practices, especially on farmland and urban areas where approximately 73% of the subsidence mapped occurs, the scientists said.
The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.
Inventing a new type of pasta in Russia
Scientists at the Russian University of Biotechnology have invented a new technology to obtain flour from wheat germ to make “healthy” pasta.
A source in the university’s media office indicated in an interview with Lenta.ru that this innovation will help expand the spread of healthy nutrition products.
Roman Kandrukov, associate professor at the university, the innovator of the new technology, says: “Rye is attributed to unconventional types of plant raw materials that are promising for expanding the range of healthy food products, as well as for the production of functional food additives. Rye grains are superior to wheat and rye grains in terms of protein and acid content.” Essential amino acids, vitamins, macro- and microelements and biologically active substances.
According to him, the innovative method of obtaining flour for making pasta from rye seeds can be implemented in any mill.
The university’s information office points out that, according to data from the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, pasta is considered one of the most popular products among Russians. It is present in the diet of 80 percent of families.
Experts point out that traditional pasta, however, does not always meet the standards of a healthy diet and lifestyle. So according to them, pasta made from rye flour can become a healthy alternative to those made from wheat and rye flour.
Scientists discover traces of “the first real war in human history”
A large-scale armed conflict, in which various peoples participated, broke out in the Stone Age, that is, about five thousand years ago.
Anthropologists reached this conclusion after studying skeletal remains from mass burials in northwestern Spain. According to scientists, this was the first real war in human history.
The oldest written records of major military conflicts, such as the Trojan War and the wars of Egypt, the Hittite Empire, Sumer and Babylon, date back to the Bronze Age (4000-2800 years ago). Archaeologists also find evidence of armed violence in Stone Age burials. The remains of Neanderthals, such as Homo sapiens and Neanderthals, often showed signs of serious trauma and damage caused by the use of stone tools.
In the Early Paleolithic period, there were individual discoveries that could be described as accidents. About 15 thousand years ago, the picture changed radically. At Late Paleolithic sites, scientists have found many human bones with spear heads and arrows stuck in them. It seems that after the appearance of bows and spearmen, killing humans became common, as a form of hunting.
The oldest recorded combat scenes are believed to be rock drawings of fighters discovered in the Arnhem region of northern Australia. It is about ten thousand years old. Drawings were discovered in the caves of eastern Spain, estimated to be between four thousand and nine thousand years old. These drawings actually showed huge scenes of confrontation with the participation of a hundred or more individuals armed with bows.
However, until recently, anthropologists were convinced of the impossibility of large-scale, long-term military operations in the Stone Age before the emergence of the first states due to the low level of social organization and limited resources, and believed that artistic artifacts only reflect episodes of collisions between groups or between tribes. However, a new study by Spanish scientists proves the opposite of this belief.
In 1973, the Spanish priest and ethnographer José Miguel de Barandjaran discovered the Church of St. John the Evangelist in front of the Latin gate “San Juan ante portam Latinam” in the province of Alava in the northwest of the country. Next to it, an unknown burial place was discovered. In 1985, a bulldozer widened the road near the church, accidentally opening another burial ground. It was an entire underground room with an area of about 20 square metres, and it was filled with human skeletons.
Over several years of excavations, archaeologists recovered the remains of 338 people from the cemetery, which received the classification SJAPL (abbreviation for the name of the church). Many of them suffered bone damage and skull fractures. Near the skeletons, they found 52 arrowheads, 64 stone blades, two stone axes (all used), five bone drills and numerous personal ornaments. According to the results of radio carbon analysis, the age of the finds is estimated at 5400-5000 years.
The funerary customs of this period have been well studied. It is known that the inhabitants of southern Europe at the beginning of the Neolithic era buried their dead in single graves or burned the bodies. Because the skeletons were randomly placed on top of each other in the SJAPL cemetery, scientists assumed that this site witnessed a “mass slaughter,” they wrote in a preliminary report.
But some details, such as personal weapons and jewelry next to those buried, in addition to the sheer abundance and variety of injuries among the dead, did not fit that hypothesis. But scientists did not continue the study, and the entire collection of specimens was transferred for storage to the “Pipat” Museum in Alava (Basque Country in Spain). It was impossible at that time to assume that this was a mass grave of soldiers killed in a major battle.
30 years later, Spanish anthropologists led by Teresa Fernandez Crespo from the University of Valladolid and their British colleagues decided to return to the study, and published their results in the journal Scientific Reports, where its authors said that the SJAPL differs from other known Stone Age mass graves in Mainly its size. There are no more than 30-40 skeletons in the previously discovered mass graves. Another important detail is the extremely high number of casualties received in battle, rather than as a result of an accident or execution.
In total, scientists identified 65 unhealed bone injuries and 89 healed bone injuries among the buried. 23% of the remains showed signs of damage. Of the men’s skeletons, half of them are like this. This is an incredibly large number, considering that according to statistics, the majority of infections usually occur in wounds of soft tissues and internal organs.
The majority of the bone remains belong to men, and the extremely high percentage of injuries caused by military weapons, as well as multiple injuries, including partially healed ones, clearly indicate that SJAPL is a military burial ground, according to the researchers.
Scientists have found traces of at least 41 arrow wounds. Meanwhile, individual bones show signs of chipping. All of this is not consistent with the hypothesis of mass slaughter that was first proposed.
The researchers’ findings allow a new look at other mass burials in megalithic tombs, caves and rock shelters from the same period, spread throughout the Iberian Peninsula and beyond. Archaeologists discovered over a wide area from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea, in burials from the fourth millennium to the beginning of the third millennium BC, they discovered an unusually large number of skulls that had been subjected to injuries, often fatal.
Genetic tests showed that the dead in the SJAPL cemetery belonged to different ethnic and cultural groups. Some of them came from distant regions, that is, from central and southern Europe and North Africa.
All of this indicates that more than five thousand years ago, a real war broke out in Europe, and it continued, according to the wounds that healed among its participants, for a period of months, and perhaps years. A conflict of this magnitude is bound to have wide-ranging social and economic consequences and impact all areas of life.
It is possible that hunger and the deterioration of living conditions are not a result of the conflict, but rather a cause of it, knowing that it began in the fifth millennium BC, the so-called Neolithic revolution in southern Europe, that is, the transition from the appropriative mode of agriculture (hunting and gathering) to a productive mode (agriculture and husbandry). livestock). This process did not move smoothly to all regions, as it was affected by differences in the level of development and traditions, and there was a struggle for possession of natural resources and the best lands.