Despre Desertul Atacama

Watts Up With That?

From the paleoclimatology world, what caused such drastic climate change back then?

Marco Pfeiffer and his colleagues scan the arid Atacama Desert, where freshwater lakes and wetlands once provided refuge to South America's early settlers. CREDIT Marco Pfeiffer Marco Pfeiffer and his colleagues scan the arid Atacama Desert, where freshwater lakes and wetlands once provided refuge to South America’s early settlers. CREDIT Marco Pfeiffer

SAN FRANCISCO – The arid Atacama Desert, thought to be a barrier to early South American settlers, may have held lakes large enough to sustain small human populations, according to new research presented here today. The lakes’ presence challenges the current understanding of the paths early settlers took to explore and settle South America, according to the researchers.

Chile’s Atacama Desert spans roughly 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) along South America’s western coast. The desert is sandwiched between two mountain ranges, which prevent water from reaching its valleys and salt flats, making it the world’s driest location outside the poles.

Now, new research shows standing water may have existed in the heart of…

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