The Neogene is a geologic period and system that spans 20.45 million years from the end of the Paleogene Period 23.03 million years ago to the beginning of the present Quaternary Period 2.58 Mya. The Neogene is sub-divided into two epochs, the earlier Miocene and the Pliocene; some geologists assert that the Neogene cannot be delineated from the modern geological period, the Quaternary. The term "Neogene" was coined in 1853 by the Austrian palaeontologist Moritz Hörnes. During this period and birds continued to evolve into modern forms, while other groups of life remained unchanged. Early hominids, the ancestors of humans, appeared in Africa near the end of the period; some continental movement took place, the most significant event being the connection of North and South America at the Isthmus of Panama, late in the Pliocene. This cut off the warm ocean currents from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, leaving only the Gulf Stream to transfer heat to the Arctic Ocean; the global climate cooled over the course of the Neogene, culminating in a series of continental glaciations in the Quaternary Period that follows.
In ICS terminology, from upper to lower: The Pliocene Epoch is subdivided into 2 ages: Piacenzian Age, preceded by Zanclean AgeThe Miocene Epoch is subdivided into 6 ages: Messinian Age, preceded by Tortonian Age Serravallian Age Langhian Age Burdigalian Age Aquitanian AgeIn different geophysical regions of the world, other regional names are used for the same or overlapping ages and other timeline subdivisions. The terms Neogene System and upper Tertiary System describe the rocks deposited during the Neogene Period; the continents in the Neogene were close to their current positions. The Isthmus of Panama formed, connecting South America; the Indian subcontinent continued forming the Himalayas. Sea levels fell, creating land bridges between Africa and Eurasia and between Eurasia and North America; the global climate became seasonal and continued an overall drying and cooling trend which began at the start of the Paleogene. The ice caps on both poles began to grow and thicken, by the end of the period the first of a series of glaciations of the current Ice Age began.
Marine and continental flora and fauna have a modern appearance. The reptile group Choristodera became extinct in the early part of the period, while the amphibians known as Allocaudata disappeared at the end. Mammals and birds continued to be the dominant terrestrial vertebrates, took many forms as they adapted to various habitats; the first hominins, the ancestors of humans, may have appeared in southern Europe and migrated into Africa. In response to the cooler, seasonal climate, tropical plant species gave way to deciduous ones and grasslands replaced many forests. Grasses therefore diversified, herbivorous mammals evolved alongside it, creating the many grazing animals of today such as horses and bison. Eucalyptus fossil leaves occur in the Miocene of New Zealand, where the genus is not native today, but have been introduced from Australia; the Neogene traditionally ended at the end of the Pliocene Epoch, just before the older definition of the beginning of the Quaternary Period. However, there was a movement amongst geologists to include ongoing geological time in the Neogene, while others insist the Quaternary to be a separate period of distinctly different record.
The somewhat confusing terminology and disagreement amongst geologists on where to draw what hierarchical boundaries is due to the comparatively fine divisibility of time units as time approaches the present, due to geological preservation that causes the youngest sedimentary geological record to be preserved over a much larger area and to reflect many more environments than the older geological record. By dividing the Cenozoic Era into three periods instead of seven epochs, the periods are more comparable to the duration of periods in the Mesozoic and Paleozoic eras; the International Commission on Stratigraphy once proposed that the Quaternary be considered a sub-era of the Neogene, with a beginning date of 2.58 Ma, namely the start of the Gelasian Stage. In the 2004 proposal of the ICS, the Neogene would have consisted of the Miocene and Pliocene epochs; the International Union for Quaternary Research counterproposed that the Neogene and the Pliocene end at 2.58 Ma, that the Gelasian be transferred to the Pleistocene, the Quaternary be recognized as the third period in the Cenozoic, citing key changes in Earth's climate and biota that occurred 2.58 Ma and its correspondence to the Gauss-Matuyama magnetostratigraphic boundary.
In 2006 ICS and INQUA reached a compromise that made Quaternary a subera, subdividing Cenozoic into the old classical Tertiary and Quaternary, a compromise, rejected by International Union of Geological Sciences because it split both Neogene and Pliocene in two. Following formal discussions at the 2008 International Geological Congress in Oslo, the ICS decided in May 2009 to make the Quaternary the youngest period of the Cenozoic Era with its base at 2.58 Mya and including the Gelasian age, considered part of the Neogene Period and Pliocene Epoch. Thus the Neogene Period ends bounding the succeeding Quaternary Period at 2.58 Mya. "Digital Atlas of Neogene Life for the Southeastern United States". San Jose State University. Archived from the original on 2013-04-23. Retrieved 21 September 2018
Basilicata known by its ancient name Lucania, is a region in Southern Italy, bordering on Campania to the west, Apulia to the north and east, Calabria to the south. It has two coastlines: a 30-km stretch on the Tyrrhenian Sea between Campania and Calabria, a longer coastline along the Gulf of Taranto between Calabria and Apulia; the region can be thought of as the "instep" of Italy, with Calabria functioning as the "toe" and Apulia the "heel". The region covers about 10,000 km2 and in 2010 had a population under 600,000; the regional capital is Potenza. The region is divided into two provinces: Matera. Basilicata is an emerging tourist destination, thanks in particular to the city of Matera, whose historical quarter I Sassi became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, has been designated European Capital of Culture 2019; the New York Times ranked Basilicata third in its list of "52 Places to Go in 2018", defining it "Italy’s best-kept secret". The name derives from "basilikos", which refers to the basileus, the Byzantine emperor, who ruled the region in the 9th–11th centuries.
Others argue that the name may refer to the Basilica of Acerenza which held judicial power in the Middle Ages. During the Greek and Roman Ages, Basilicata was known as Lucania, named after the tribes which populated the region in the Iron Age. Basilicata covers an extensive part of the southern Apennine Mountains between Ofanto in the north and the Pollino massif in the south, it is bordered on the east by a large part of the Bradano river depression, traversed by numerous streams and declines to the southeastern coastal plains on the Ionian Sea. The region has a short coastline to the southwest on the Tyrrhenian Sea side of the peninsula. Basilicata is the most mountainous region in the south of Italy, with 47% of its area of 9,992 km2 covered by mountains. Of the remaining area, 45% is hilly, 8% is made up of plains. Notable mountains and ranges include Monte Alpi, Monte Carmine, Dolomiti lucane, Monti Li Foj, Toppa Pizzuta and Monte Vulture. Geological features of the region include the volcanic Monte Vulture and the seismic faults in the Melfi and Potenza areas in the north and around Pollino in the south.
Much of the region was devastated in the 1857 Basilicata earthquake. More there was another major earthquake in 1980; the combination of the mountainous terrain combined with the rock and soil types makes landslides prevalent. While the lithological structure of the substratum and its chaotic tectonic deformation contribute to the cause of landslides, this problem is compounded by the lack of forested land; this area, similar to others in the Mediterranean region, while abundant with dense forests, was stripped and made barren during the time of Roman rule. The variable climate is influenced by three coastlines and the complexity of the region's physical features; the climate is continental in Mediterranean along the coasts. The first traces of human presence in Basilicata date to the late Paleolithic, with findings of Homo erectus. Late Cenozoic fossils, found at Venosa and other locations, include elephants and species now extinct such as a saber-toothed cat of the genus Machairodus. Examples of rock art from the Mesolithic have been discovered near Filiano.
From the fifth millennium, people stopped living in caves and built settlements of huts up to the rivers leading to the interior. In this period, anatomically modern humans lived by cultivating cereals and animal husbandry. Chalcolithic sites include the grottoes of Latronico and the funerary findings of the Cervaro grotto near Lagonegro; the first known stable market center of the Apennine culture on the sea, consisting of huts on the promontory of Capo la Timpa, near to Maratea, dates to the Bronze Age. The first indigenous Iron Age communities lived in large villages in plateaus located at the borders of the plains and the rivers, in places fitting their breeding and agricultural activities; such settlements include that of Anglona, located between the fertile valleys of Agri and Sinni, of Siris and, on the coast of the Ionian Sea, of Incoronata-San Teodoro. The first presence of Greek colonists, coming from the Greek islands and Anatolia, date from the late eighth century BC. There are no traces of survival of the 11th-8th century BC archaeological sites of the settlements: this was caused by the increasing presence of Greek colonies, which changed the balance of the trades.
In ancient historical times the region was known as Lucania, named for the Lucani, an Oscan-speaking population from central Italy. Their name might be derived from Greek leukos meaning lykos, or Latin lucus. Or more Lucania, as much as the Lucius forename derives from the Latin word Lux, meaning "light", is a cognate of name Lucas. Another etymology proposed is a derivation from Etruscan Lauchum meaning "king", which however was transferred into Latin as Lucumo. Starting from the late eighth century BC, the Greeks established a settlement first at Siris, founded by fugitives from Colophon. With the foundation of Metaponto from Achaean colonists, they started the conquest of the whole Ionian coast. There were indigenous Oenotrian foundations on the coast, which exploited the nearby presence of Greek settlements, such as Velia and Pyxous, for their maritime trades
The Ionian Sea is an elongated bay of the Mediterranean Sea, south of the Adriatic Sea. It is bounded by Southern Italy including Calabria and the Salento peninsula to the west, southern Albania to the north, the west coast of Greece. All major islands in the sea belong to Greece, they are collectively named the Ionian Islands, the main ones being Corfu, Zakynthos and Ithaca. There are ferry routes between Patras and Igoumenitsa and Brindisi and Ancona, that cross the east and north of the Ionian Sea, from Piraeus westward. Calypso Deep, the deepest point in the Mediterranean at −5,267 m, is located in the Ionian Sea, at 36°34′N 21°8′E; the sea is one of the most seismically active areas in the world. The name Ionian comes from the Greek language Ἰόνιον, its etymology is unknown. Ancient Greek writers Aeschylus, linked it to the myth of Io. In Ancient Greek the adjective Ionios was used as an epithet for the sea because Io swam across it. According to the Oxford Classical Dictionary, the name may derive from Ionians who sailed to the West.
There were narratives about other eponymic legendary figures. When Dyrrhachus was attacked by his own brothers, passing through the area, came to his aid, but in the fight the hero killed his ally's son by mistake; the body was cast into the water, thereafter was called the Ionian Sea. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Ionian Sea as follows: On the North. A line running from the mouth of the Butrinto River in Albania, to Cape Karagol in Corfu, along the North Coast of Corfu to Cape Kephali and from thence to Cape Santa Maria di Leuca in Italy. On the East. From the mouth of the Butrinto River in Albania down the coast of the mainland to Cape Matapan. On the South. A line from Cape Matapan to Cape Passero, the Southern point of Sicily. On the West; the East coast of Sicily and the Southeast coast of Italy to Cape Santa Maria di Leuca. From south to north in the west north to south in the east: Syracuse, port, W Catania, port, W Messina, port, W Taranto, port N Himara, small port, NE Saranda, port and a beach, NE Kerkyra, port, E Igoumenitsa, port, E Parga, small port, E Preveza, port, E Astakos, port, E Argostoli, port, E Patra, port, E Kyparissia, port, E Pylos, port, E Methoni, small port and a beach Ionian Islands Strait of Messina, W Gulf of Catania, W Gulf of Augusta, W Gulf of Taranto, NW Gulf of Squillace, NW Ambracian Gulf, E Gulf of Patras, connecting the Gulf of Corinth, ESE Gulf of Kyparissia, SE Messenian Gulf, SE Laconian Gulf, ESE Corfu Kefalonia Ithaca Zakynthos Lefkada Paxi Kythira Calypso Deep The Ionian-Puglia Network of Ground Meteorological Stations
Calabria, known in antiquity as Bruttium, is a region in Southern Italy. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro; the Regional Council of Calabria is based at the Palazzo Campanella in the city of Reggio Calabria. The region is bordered to the north by the Basilicata Region, to the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the east by the Ionian Sea; the region has a population of just under 2 million. The demonym of Calabria is calabrese in Calabrian in English. In ancient times the name Calabria referred, not as in modern times to the toe, but to the heel tip of Italy, from Tarentum southwards, a region nowadays known as Salento. Starting in the third century BC, the name Calabria was given to the Adriatic coast of the Salento peninsula in modern Apulia. In the late first century BC this name came to extend to the entirety of the Salento, when the Roman emperor Augustus divided Italy into regions; the whole region of Apulia received the name Regio II Calabria. By this time modern Calabria was still known as Bruttium, after the Bruttians who inhabited the region.
In the seventh century AD, the Byzantine Empire created the Duchy of Calabria from the Salento and the Ionian part of Bruttium. Though the Calabrian part of the duchy was conquered by the Longobards during the eighth and ninth centuries AD, the Byzantines continued to use the name Calabria for their remaining territory in Bruttium; the modern name Italy derives from Italia, first used as a name for the southern part of modern Calabria. Over time the Greeks started to use it for the rest of the southern Italian peninsula as well. After the Roman conquest of the region, the name was used for the entire Italian peninsula and the Alpine region too; the region is known as the “toe” of the “boot” of Italy and is a long and narrow peninsula which stretches from north to south for 248 km, with a maximum width of 110 km. Some 42% of Calabria's area, corresponding to 15,080 km2, is mountainous, 49% is hilly, while plains occupy only 9% of the region's territory, it is surrounded by the Tyrrhenian seas.
It is separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina, where the narrowest point between Capo Peloro in Sicily and Punta Pezzo in Calabria is only 3.2 km. Three mountain ranges are present: Pollino, La Sila and Aspromonte. All three mountain ranges are unique with their own fauna; the Pollino Mountains in the north of the region are rugged and form a natural barrier separating Calabria from the rest of Italy. Parts of the area are wooded, while others are vast, wind-swept plateaus with little vegetation; these mountains are home to a rare Bosnian Pine variety and are included in the Pollino National Park. The Pollino National Park has the distinction of being the largest national park in Italy and covers about 1,925.65 square kilometres. La Sila, referred to as the "Great Wood of Italy", is a vast mountainous plateau about 1,200 metres above sea level and stretches for nearly 2,000 square kilometres along the central part of Calabria; the highest point is Botte Donato. The area boasts dense coniferous forests.
La Sila has some of the tallest trees in Italy which are called the "Giants of the Sila" and can reach up to 40 metres in height. The Sila National Park is known to have the purest air in Europe; the Aspromonte massif forms the southernmost tip of the Italian peninsula bordered by the sea on three sides. This unique mountainous structure reaches its highest point at Montalto, at 1,995 metres, is full of wide, man-made terraces that slope down towards the sea. In general, most of the lower terrain in Calabria has been agricultural for centuries, exhibits indigenous scrubland as well as introduced plants such as the prickly pear cactus; the lowest slopes are rich in citrus fruit orchards. The Diamante citron is one of the citrus fruits. Moving upwards and chestnut trees appear while in the higher regions there are dense forests of oak, pine and fir trees. Calabria's climate is influenced by mountains; the Mediterranean climate is typical of the coastal areas with considerable differences in temperature and rainfall between the seasons, with an average low of 8 °C during the winter months and an average high of 30 °C during the summer months.
Mountain areas have a typical mountainous climate with frequent snow during winter. Erratic behavior of the Tyrrhenian Sea can bring heavy rainfall on the western slopes of the region, while hot air from Africa makes the east coast of Calabria dry and warm; the mountains that run along the region influence the climate and temperature of the region. The east coast has wider temperature ranges than the west coast; the geography of the region causes more rain to fall along the west coast than that of the east coast, which occurs during winter and autumn and less during the summer months. Below are the two extremes of climate present in Calabria, both the warm mediterranean subtype on the coastline and the highland climate of Monte Scuro; when describing the geology of Calabria, it is considered as part of the "Calabrian Arc", an arc-shaped geographic domain extending from the southern part of the Basilicata Region to the northeast of Sicily, including the Peloritano Mountains. The Calabrian area shows basement of Paleozoic
The Subboreal is a climatic period before the present one, of the Holocene. It lasted from 3710 to 450 BCE; the composite scientific term Subboreal, meaning "below the Boreal," is derived from the Latin sub and the Greek Βορέας, from Boreas, the god of the North Wind. The word was first introduced in 1889 by Rutger Sernander to distinguish it from Axel Blytt's Boreal, established in 1876; the Subboreal was followed by the Subatlantic. The Subboreal is equivalent to W. H. Zagwijn's pollen zones IVa and IVb and T. Litt's pollen zone VIII. In the pollen scheme of Fritz Theodor Overbeck, it occupies pollen zone X. In paleoclimatology, it is divided into a Younger Subboreal; the Subboreal is equivalent to most of the Neolithic and the entire Bronze Age, which started 4200 to 3800 years ago. The Subboreal is defined as 3710 to 5660 years BP; the lower limit is flexible, as some authors prefer to use 4400 BCE, or 6350 BP in northwestern Poland 4830 BC, or 6780 BP, And others use 5000 calendar years, or 3050 BCE.
The upper limit of the Subboreal and, therefore the beginning of the Subatlantic, is flexible and can be attributed to 1170 to 830 BCE, but it is fixed at 450 BCE. In varve years, the Subboreal corrsponds to 5660 to 2750 years BP; the boundary between the older and the younger Subboreal is considered to be 1350 BCE. The climate was dryer and cooler than in the preceding Atlantic but still warmer than today; the temperatures were 0.7 °C higher than during the following Subatlantic. In Scandinavia the lower limit of glaciers was 100 to 200 m higher than during the Subatlantic. On the whole, the oscillating temperatures receded in the course of the Subboreal by about 0.3 °C. In the Aegean, the beginning of the Subboreal was marked by a pronounced drought, centered around 5600 years BP. Of far greater importance as the coming to an end of the African Humid Period, reflected in the lakes of subtropical Africa experiencing a rapid fall in their water levels. During the interval 6200 to 5000 years BP, drier conditions were in southern Mesopotamia, causing great demographic changes and instigating the end of Uruk.
In Germany, a drastic climatic cooling can be observed around 5000 varve years BP in the maars of the Eifel. In the preceding interval lasting from 8200 till 5000 varve years, the July temperatures were on average still 1 °C higher. At the same time, the January temperatures were rising and the yearly precipitation increased. In Northern Africa and in the Near East, the interval from 4700 to 4100 years BP had renewed and lasting dry conditions, as is indicated by lake level minima. Between 4500 and 4100 years BP, monsoonal precipitations weakened, a possible cause for the upheavals that led to the end of the Old Kingdom of Egypt; the Levant shows a similar climatic evolution. The dry conditions prevailing in Mesopotamia around 4200 years BP resulted in the downfall of the Akkadian Empire. Levels of carbon dioxide had reached beginning of the Subboreal its Holocene minimal value of 260 ppm. During the Subboreal, it reached 293 ppm at the end of the period; as a comparison, today's value is over 400 ppm.
In Scandinavia, the Atlantic/Subboreal boundary shows a distinct vegetational change. Tat is less pronounced in Western Europe, but its typical mixed oak forest shows quite a fast decline in elm and linden; the decline in linden is not understood. The decline in elm is most due to elm disease, caused by the ascomycete Ceratocystis ulmi, but climatic changes and anthropogenic pressure on the forests must be considered as well; the decline in elm, with a recession from 20 to 4%, as observed in Eifel maar pollen, has been dated in Central and Northern Europe as 4000 years BC, but it more was diachronous over the interval 4350 to 3780 BC. Another important event was the immigration of European beech and hornbeam from their retreats on the Balkan and south of the Apennines; this happened diachronously: beech pollen are found for the first time in the interval 4340 to 3540 BC, hornbeam pollen somewhat between 3400 and 2900 BC. With the start of the Younger Subboreal is the massive spreading of beech.
The establishment of beech and hornbeam was accompanied by indicator plants for human settlements and agriculture like cereals and plantain, hazel was receding. The relatively-dry climate during the subboreal furthered the spreading of heath plants. Like in the Atlantic, the global sea level kept on rising during the Subboreal but at a much slower rate; the increase amounted to about 1 m. At the end of the Subboreal, the sea level was about 1 m below the current value. In the Baltic the Litorina Sea had established itself before the onset of the Subboreal. During the Older Subboreal the second Litorina transgression raised the sea level to 1 m below the actual value. After an intermediate Post-litorine Regression the third Litorina transgression reached 60 cm below present and during the beginning Subatlantic, it reached today's value. In the North Sea region, the Flandrian transgression of the Atlantic was followed by a slight regression or standstill at the beginning of the Subboreal
The Eemian was the interglacial period which began about 130,000 years ago at the end of the Penultimate Glacial Period and ended about 115,000 years ago at the beginning of the Last Glacial Period. It corresponds to Marine Isotope Stage 5e. Although sometimes referred to as the "last interglacial", it was the second-to-latest interglacial period of the current Ice Age, the most recent being the Holocene which extends to the present day; the prevailing Eemian climate was, on average, around 1 to 2 degrees Celsius warmer than that of the Holocene. However, due to global warming, the past few July global temperatures surpassed the July temperatures of the Eemian period. During the Eemian, the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere was about 280 parts per million; the Eemian is known as the Ipswichian in the UK, the Mikulin interglacial in Russia, the Valdivia interglacial in Chile and the Riss-Würm interglacial in the Alps. Depending on how a specific publication defines the Sangamonian Stage of North America, the Eemian is equivalent to either all or part of it.
The Eemian climate is believed to have been about as stable as that of the Holocene. Changes in the Earth's orbital parameters from today, known as Milankovitch cycles led to greater seasonal temperature variations in the Northern Hemisphere. Although global annual mean temperatures were several degrees warmer than today, during summer months, temperatures in the Arctic region were about 2-4 °C higher than today; the warmest peak of the Eemian was around 125,000 years ago, when forests reached as far north as North Cape, Norway well above the Arctic Circle at 71°10′21″N 25°47′40″E. Hardwood trees such as hazel and oak grew as far north as Finland. At the peak of the Eemian, the Northern Hemisphere winters were warmer and wetter than now, though some areas were slightly cooler than today; the hippopotamus was distributed as far north as the rivers Thames. Trees grew as far north as southern Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: the northern limit is further south at Kuujjuaq in northern Quebec.
Coastal Alaska was warm enough during the summer due to reduced sea ice in the Arctic Ocean to allow Saint Lawrence Island to have boreal forest, although inadequate precipitation caused a reduction in the forest cover in interior Alaska and Yukon Territory despite warmer conditions. The prairie-forest boundary in the Great Plains of the United States lay further west near Lubbock, whereas the current boundary is near Dallas; the period closed as temperatures fell to conditions cooler and drier than the present, with a 468-year-long aridity pulse in central Europe 116,000 BC, by 112,000 BC, a glacial period had returned. Kaspar et al. performed a comparison of a coupled general circulation model with reconstructed Eemian temperatures for Europe. Central Europe was found to be 1–2 °C warmer than present; the model reproduces these observations, leading them to conclude that these factors are enough to explain the Eemian temperatures. A 2018 study based on soil samples from Sokli in northern Finland identified abrupt cold spells ca. 120,000 years ago caused by shifts in the North Atlantic Current, lasting hundreds of years and causing temperature drops of a few degrees and vegetation changes in these regions.
Sea level at peak was 6 to 9 metres higher than today, with Greenland contributing 0.6 to 3.5 m, thermal expansion and mountain glaciers contributing up to 1 m, an uncertain contribution from Antarctica. Recent research on marine sediment cores offshore of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet suggest that the sheet melted during the Eemian, that ocean waters rose as fast as 2.5 meters per century. Global mean sea surface temperatures are thought to have been higher than in the Holocene, but not by enough to explain the rise in sea level through thermal expansion alone, so melting of polar ice caps must have occurred; because of the sea level drop since the Eemian, exposed fossil coral reefs are common in the tropics in the Caribbean and along the Red Sea coastlines. These reefs contain internal erosion surfaces showing significant sea level instability during the Eemian. A 2007 study found evidence that the Greenland ice core site Dye 3 was glaciated during the Eemian, which implies that Greenland could have contributed at most 2 m to sea level rise.
Scandinavia was an island due to the inundation of vast areas of northern Europe and the West Siberian Plain. The Eemian Stage was first recognized from boreholes in the area of the city of Amersfoort, Netherlands, by Harting, he named the beds "Système Eémien", after the river Eem. Harting noticed the marine molluscan assemblages to be different from the modern fauna of the North Sea. Many species from the Eemian layers nowadays show a much more southern distribution, ranging from South of the Strait of Dover to Portugal and into the Mediterranean. More information on the molluscan assemblages is given by Lorié, Spaink. Since their discovery, Eemian beds in the Netherlands have been recognized by their marine molluscan content combined with