Specks of evidence for ancient sunburn

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Author: Oliver Morton
Date: Aug. 26, 2005
From: Science(Vol. 309, Issue 5739)
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Document Type: Article
Length: 451 words
Lexile Measure: 1410L

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The ozone hole that has afflicted high southern latitudes for the past couple of decades has little to recommend it. But it's been a useful calibration device for Barry Lomax and colleagues at the University of Sheffield, U.K. Ozone depletion may have played a role in various past extinctions, but ozone doesn't leave much of a fossil record. Now, by studying spores from club mosses on South Georgia, a small British island east and a little south of the Falklands, Lomax thinks he may have found a way to tease out fossil ozone levels.

Spores and pollen need to protect their DNA while they blow around the world. Some plants impregnate the...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A135932225