by David Middleton, August 18, 2017 in WUWT
If “the supervolcano threat is substantially greater than the asteroid or comet threat,” does this mean we can stop fretting about Gorebal Warming and the Sixth Mass Extinction? Is NASA really moving on to actual threats to the planet? Well, not threats to the planet… The planet has handled supervolcanoes, asteroids and comets quite well over its 4.5 billion year lifespan.
by Jochen J. Brocks et al., August 2017, in Nature
The ‘Rise of Algae’ created food webs with more efficient nutrient and energy transfers, driving ecosystems towards larger and increasingly complex organisms. This effect is recorded by the concomitant appearance of biomarkers for sponges and predatory rhizarians, and the subsequent radiation of eumetazoans in the Ediacaran period.
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by Oregon State University, August 15, 2017 in ScienceDaily
A Triceratops or Tyrannosaurus rex bulling its way through a pine forest likely dislodged flowers that 100 million years later have been identified in their fossilized form as a new species of tree.
by Elsevier SciTech Connect, August 2017
Since 1600, 278,880 people have been killed by volcanic activity, with many of these deaths attributed to secondary hazards associated with the main eruption. Starvation killed 92,000 following the 1815 Tambora eruption in Indonesia, for example, and a volcanic tsunami killed 36,000 following the 1883 Krakatoa eruption.
Research shows that volcanic activity has shown no let up since the turn of the 21st century – it just hasn’t been around population centres. Indeed, there remain a number of volcanoes poised to blow which pose a major threat to life and livelihood.
by David Middleton, August 4, 2017 in WUWT
An article just published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B describes two remarkably different hydrothermal vent fields discovered in the southern Gulf of California. Despite being relatively close together, these vents host very different animal communities. This finding contradicts a common scientific assumption that neighboring vents will share similar animal communities. Instead, the new paper suggests that local geology and the chemistry of the vent fluids are important factors affecting vent communities
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by Tom Raimondo, July 21, 2017 in ABC Science
Australia is often thought of as an ancient and quiescent continent — the sleeping giant in a world where landscapes dramatically change in front of our very eyes.
by David Cox, July 24, 2017 in BBC Future
In the Bay of Naples, Europe’s most notorious giant is showing signs of reawakening from its long slumber.
Campi Flegrei, a name that aptly translates as « burning fields », is a supervolcano. It consists of a vast and complex network of underground chambers that formed hundreds of thousands of years ago, stretching from the outskirts of Naples to underneath the Mediterranean Sea. About half a million people live in Campi Flegrei’s seven-mile-long caldera, which was formed by vast eruptions 200,000, 39,000, 35,000 and 12,000 years ago.
by Peggy Townsend, July 18, 2017 in PHYS.ORG
The discovery pushed back the time for the emergence of microbial life on land by 580 million years and also bolstered a paradigm-shifting hypothesis laid out by UC Santa Cruz astrobiologists David Deamer and Bruce Damer: that life began, not in the sea, but on land.
by Martin Schobben et al., July 2014,
The Permian geologic period that ended the Paleozoic era climaxed around 252 million years ago with a sweeping global mass extinction event in which 90 to 95 percent of marine life became extinct. It would take 30 million years for planetary biodiversity to recover. Understanding the contributing factors of the end-Permian mass extinction is critical to understanding and perhaps mitigating the current anthropogenic climate change.
by Imperial College London, July 17, 2017, in ScienceDaily
The discovery by researchers from Imperial could lead to a range of improvements including advances in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). This is where industrial emissions will be captured by CCS technology, before reaching the atmosphere, and safely stored in rock deep underground.
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