All genetic data seems to suggest that the Irish hare is more genetically divergent than previously thought. Observed levels of divergence and haplotypic diversity can not be explained by recent colonisation. Instead, the most parsimonious explanation is that the Irish hare survived the last glacial maximum in refugia possibly in the southern parts of Ireland and/or other areas further south now covered by water.
A piece of the famous Halley's comet likely slammed into Earth in A.D. 536, blasting so much dust into the atmosphere that the planet cooled considerably, a new study suggests. This dramatic climate shift is linked to drought and famine around the world, which may have made humanity more susceptible to "Justinian's plague" in A.D. 541-542 — the first recorded emergence of the Black Death in Europe. The new results come from an analysis of Greenland ice that was laid down between A.D. 533 and 540. The ice cores record large amounts of atmospheric dust during this seven-year period, not all of it originating on Earth. "I have all this extraterrestrial stuff in my ice core," study leader Dallas Abbott, of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, told LiveScience.
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