by Anthony Watts, August 10, 2018 in WUWT
Syracuse University professor uses ancient marine sediment as benchmark for present, future climate models
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Researchers at Syracuse University are looking to the geologic past to make future projections about climate change.
Christopher K. Junium, assistant professor of Earth sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), is the lead author of a study that uses the nitrogen isotopic composition of sediments to understand changes in marine conditions during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)–a brief period of rapid global warming approximately 56 million years ago.
Junium’s team–which includes Benjamin T. Uveges G’17, a Ph.D. candidate in A&S, and Alexander J. Dickson, a lecturer in geochemistry at Royal Holloway at the University of London–has published an article on the subject in Nature Communications (Springer Nature, 2018).
by David Middleton, July 31, 1018 in WUWT
This post was inspired by Anthony Watts’ recent post about wildfires and their unwillingness to cooperate with the Gorebal Warming narrative.
A Geological Perspective of Wildfires
The Fire Window
Geological evidence for ancient wildfires generally consists of sedimentary charcoal deposits (inertinite). Fossil charcoal is also a key factor in understanding the evolution of Earth’s atmosphere, particularly oxygen content. The first clear evidence of fire is in the Late Silurian.
by A. Watts, July 23, 2018 in WUWT and NatureCommunications
From the University of Helsinki and the “no SUV’s needed” department comes this study which suggests big cold snaps occurred right in the middle of the warm Eemian period. My only concern is perhaps they over-rely on climate models. For reference (and not part of the study) here’s the Eemian graph in context. Data sources listed int he graph.
by McGill University, July 18, 2018 in ScienceDaily
The findings, published in the journal Nature, represent the oldest measurement of atmospheric oxygen isotopes by nearly a billion years. The results support previous research suggesting that oxygen levels in the air during this time in Earth history were a tiny fraction of what they are today due to a much less productive biosphere.
“It has been suggested for many decades now that the composition of the atmosphere has significantly varied through time,” says Peter Crockford, who led the study as a PhD student at McGill University. “We provide unambiguous evidence that it was indeed much different 1.4 billion years ago.”
The study provides the oldest gauge yet of what earth scientists refer to as “primary production,” in which micro-organisms at the base of the food chain — algae, cyanobacteria, and the like — produce organic matter from carbon dioxide and pour oxygen into the air.
by Jennifer Chu, July 16 in MITNews
There may be more than a quadrillion tons of diamond hidden in the Earth’s interior, according to a new study from MIT and other universities. But the new results are unlikely to set off a diamond rush. The scientists estimate the precious minerals are buried more than 100 miles below the surface, far deeper than any drilling expedition has ever reached.
The ultradeep cache may be scattered within cratonic roots — the oldest and most immovable sections of rock that lie beneath the center of most continental tectonic plates. Shaped like inverted mountains, cratons can stretch as deep as 200 miles through the Earth’s crust and into its mantle; geologists refer to their deepest sections as “roots.”
In the new study, scientists estimate that cratonic roots may contain 1 to 2 percent diamond. Considering the total volume of cratonic roots in the Earth, the team figures that about a quadrillion (1016) tons of diamond are scattered within these ancient rocks, 90 to 150 miles below the surface.
by Jacques Henry, 14 juillet 2018, in Contrepoints
L’ Anthropocène est la dernière création marketing d’un géologue. Avec un certain succès médiatique alors que les scientifiques s’y opposent fermement. Pourquoi ?
by University of Alberta, July 11, 2018 in ScienceDaily
Discovery provides evidence of iron-rich seawater much later than previously thought.
The banded iron formation, located in western China, has been conclusively dated as Cambrian in age. Approximately 527 million years old, this formation is young by comparison to the majority of discoveries to date. The deposition of banded iron formations, which began approximately 3.8 billion years ago, had long been thought to terminate before the beginning of the Cambrian Period at 540 million years ago.
The Early Cambrian is known for the rise of animals, so the level of oxygen in seawater should have been closer to near modern levels. “This is important as the availability of oxygen has long been thought to be a handbrake on the evolution of complex life, and one that should have been alleviated by the Early Cambrian,” says Leslie Robbins, a PhD candidate in Konhauser’s lab and a co-author on the paper.
by Javier, July 9, 2018 in WUWT
The International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) has announced that the proposal by the International Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (ISQS) for the subdivision of the Holocene Series/Epoch has been ratified unanimously by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).
nb: ‘No Christiana, the geologists do not think the Anthropocene is a concept worthy of consideration, and you should be better informed.’
by Donna Laframboise, July 8, 2018 in BigPicNews
SPOTLIGHT: The most reputable publishers imaginable are misinforming the public about basic geology.
BIG PICTURE: Last September, a book titled The Paris Agreement on Climate Change: Analysis and Commentary appeared. Five people are listed as editors, four of whom are lawyers. Two teach at universities. Another two are United Nations legal officers.
These people aren’t lightweights. You’d expect them to be in possession of elemental facts.
Nevertheless, not one of these editors objected to a blatant falsehood in the Foreword to this book. It’s hard to find a more distinguished publisher than Oxford University Press, but none of its editorial team caught it, either. …
by Donna Laframboise, July 2018, in BigPictureNews
SPOTLIGHT: Forget reporting facts. Journalists pick sides and spread false news.
BIG PICTURE: The Breakthrough Institute is known for its sensible approach to environmental questions. The current issue of its journal includes a tour de force titled “Welcome to the Narcisscene: Returning Humans to the Center of the Cosmos.”
Author Mark Sagoff spends 5,000 words discussing a topic that should appall anyone who worries about science being hijacked by politics. The short version is that there’s an international organization “responsible for naming and dating geologic periods, eras, and epochs.” Comprised of geologists, this organization has been under immense pressure to assert that planet Earth is no longer in the geological epoch known the Holocene.
For nearly 20 years, non-geologists such as Nobel-winning atmospheric scientist Paul Crutzen, have been insisting that a new epoch should be officially declared – one that acknowledges humanity’s influence on the planet. They think it should be called the Anthropocene. (In ancient Greek, anthrop means ‘human’.)
by Geological Society of America, June 28, 2018 in ScienceDaily
On 27 and 28 September 2017, eight large rockfalls occurred from the southeast face of El Capitan. These rockfalls resulted in one fatality and two serious injuries, and spurred a complicated rescue and temporary closure of the main road exiting Yosemite Valley. In order to manage these challenging events, the National Park Service (NPS) had a critical, immediate need for quantitative information about the sequence of rockfalls and the potential for additional activity.
Using new “structure-from-motion” photogrammetry techniques in conjunction with baseline laser-scanning data, scientists from the NPS, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the University of Lausanne, Switzerland rapidly analyzed these rockfalls. By comparing 3-dimensional (3D) models of the cliff before, during, and after the rockfalls, the researchers were able to pinpoint the exact locations, dimensions, and volumes of the rockfalls, along with the spatial and temporal pattern of their progression up the cliff.
by Arizona State University, June 27, 2018 in ScienceDaily
Scientists have argued for decades over what may have caused this mass extinction, during what is called the “Ediacaran-Cambrian transition.” Some think that a steep decline in dissolved oxygen in the ocean was responsible. Others hypothesize that these early animals were progressively replaced by newly evolved animals.
The precise cause has remained elusive, in part because so little is known about the chemistry of Earth’s oceans that long ago.
A research team, led by scientists from Arizona State University and funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation, is helping to unravel this mystery and understand why this extinction event happened, what it can tell us about our origins, and how the world as we know it came to be. The study, published in Science Advances, was led by ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration graduate student Feifei Zhang, under the direction of faculty member Ariel Anbar and staff scientist Stephen Romaniello. (…)
by Utah State University, June 26, 2018 in ScienceDaily
The discovery of the Durmid Ladder reveals the southern tip of the San Andreas Fault changes fairly gradually into the ladder-like Brawley Seismic zone. The structure trends northwest, extending from the well-known main trace of the San Andreas Fault along the Salton Sea’s northeastern shore, to the newly identified East Shoreline Fault Zone on the San Andreas’ opposite edge.
“We now have critical evidence about the possible nucleation site of the next major earthquake on the San Andreas Fault,” says Jänecke, professor in USU’s Department of Geology. “That possible nucleation site was thought to be a small area near Bombay Beach, California, but our work suggests there may be an additional, longer ‘fuse’ south of the Durmid Ladder within the 37-mile-long Brawley Seismic zone.” …
by Willis Eschenbach, June 25, 2018 in WUWT
As readers of my posts know, I’ve held for many years that there are a variety of emergent phenomena that regulate the earth’s temperature. See my posts The Thermostat Hypothesisand Emergent Climate Phenomena for an overview of my hypothesis.
One of the predictions derivable from my hypothesis is that the earth should be relatively insensitive to small changes in forcing. According to my hypothesis, if the total energy entering the system changes in such a manner that the global temperatures start to drop, inter alia the system responds through changes in the time and strength of the daily emergence of the tropical cumulus field and the associated thunderstorms. This allows more sunlight to enter the system and decreases the thunderstorm-caused surface heat losses, balancing out the energy lost elsewhere and maintaining the temperature.
by University of Cambridge, June 25, 2018 in ScienceDaily
Some of the earliest complex organisms on Earth — possibly some of the earliest animals to exist — got big not to compete for food, but to spread their offspring as far as possible.
The research, led by the University of Cambridge, found that the most successful organisms living in the oceans more than half a billion years ago were the ones that were able to ‘throw’ their offspring the farthest, thereby colonising their surroundings. The results are reported in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.
Prior to the Ediacaran period, between 635 and 541 million years ago, life forms were microscopic in size, but during the Ediacaran, large, complex organisms first appeared, some of which — such as a type of organism known as rangeomorphs — grew as tall as two metres.
See also here