Age of second largest desert disputed

Jun 18, 2007

Scientists in China say they have found evidence proving their nation's Taklimakan Desert, the world's second-largest desert, is older than thought.

Scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences said their recent research found evidence the massive desert in the Xinjiang Uygur region is 1.8 million years older than previously estimated, China's official news agency Xinhua reported Sunday.

If the scientific findings from the academy's Institute of Geology and Geophysics hold true, the actual age of the desert would be 5.3 million years old.

The findings come after decades of research by Chinese scientists regarding the arid land that has not produced a universally accepted age for the desert. The last estimation was made in 2002 and it placed the region's age at 3.5 million years old.

The recent study followed the same approach as the earlier estimation by analyzing soil samples, but the newer samples were taken from a Cenozoic Era-dated layer of the desert, the agency reported.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: NASA image: Beaver complex and July complex wildfires in California

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How dinosaurs shrank, survived and evolved into birds

Aug 01, 2014

That starling at your birdfeeder? It is a dinosaur. The chicken on your dinner plate? Also a dinosaur. That mangy seagull scavenging for chips on the beach? Apart from being disgusting, yet again it is a ...

What geology has to say about global warming

Jul 14, 2014

Last month I gave a public lecture entitled, "When Maine was California," to an audience in a small town in Maine. It drew parallels between California, today, and Maine, 400 million years ago, when similar ...

Under the bright lights of an aging sun

Jul 04, 2014

Life as we know it on Earth is linked to our star, the Sun, which provides our planet with just the right amount of heat and energy for liquid water to be stable in our lakes, rivers and oceans. However, ...

Recommended for you

NASA sees Tropical Storm Lowell's tough south side

5 hours ago

The south side of Tropical Storm Lowell appears to be its toughest side. That is, the side with the strongest thunderstorms, according to satellite imagery from NOAA's GOES-14 and NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellites.

User comments : 0