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News Picks : Rare evidence of prehistoric coal burning found in China

By: Physics Today
04 April 2014
New Scientist: Large-scale coal burning in China may have begun a long time before the Industrial Revolution. John Dodson of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and colleagues extracted seeds from chunks of burned coal in northern China and used radiocarbon dating to determine that coal was consistently being burned as fuel as long as 3500 years ago. If so, it supports the theory proposed by William Ruddiman last year that human-induced climate change may have begun much earlier than previously thought. But Jennifer Marlon of Yale University disagrees, saying that the prehistoric emissions would have been way too small to have had much impact on global climate.


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