by Jasmin Fox-Skelly, BBC, May 4, 2017
Throughout history, humans have existed side-by-side with bacteria and viruses. From the bubonic plague to smallpox, we have evolved to resist them, and in response they have developed new ways of infecting us.
However, what would happen if we were suddenly exposed to deadly bacteria and viruses that have been absent for thousands of years, or that we have never met before?
by Dr. John D. Harper, FGSA,FGAC, PGeol., former director of the Geological Survey of Canada © May 2017
I have recently been asked to comment on three articles published in The Economist. My background for such a response is as a Professor of Petroleum Geology and Sedimentology (ret.), a former Director-Energy for the Geological Survey of Canada, a former researcher in industry, and as an academic researcher on sea level changes and climate documentation through geologic time, Natural Resources of the Future and a couple of decades of studies in the Arctic.
1) Skating on thin ice: The thawing Arctic threatens an environmental catastrophe. Apr 27, 2017
2) The Arctic as it is known today is almost certainly gone. April 29, 2017
3) Thaw point: As the Arctic melts the world’s weather suffers. April 29, 2017
by University of Tromso, May 5, 2017 in ScienceDaily
Bedrock of Earth got severely beaten up by hothouse climate conditions during one of planet’s mass extinctions some 200 million years ago. But the process also allowed life to bounce back.
The hothouse conditions of this mass extinction caused oceans to eventually become depleted of oxygen, and thus become unbearable to live in. But weathering of silicate in the bedrock of Pangea, and subsequent formation of carbonate, tied up the CO2 into the minerals, slowly removing the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.
by McGill University , EPSL, May 5, 2017, in ScienceDaily
Conventional theory holds that all of the early Earth’s crustal ingredients were formed by volcanic activity. Now, however, earth scientists have published a theory with a novel twist: some of the chemical components of this material settled onto Earth’s early surface from the steamy atmosphere that prevailed at the time.
More than 90% of Earth’s continental crust is made up of silica-rich minerals, such as feldspar and quartz. But where did this silica-enriched material come from? And could it provide a clue in the search for life on other planets?
by DMI (Danish Meteorological Institute), May, 2017
Here you can follow the daily surface mass balance on the Greenland Ice Sheet. The snow and ice model from one of DMI’s climate models is driven every six hours with snowfall, sunlight and other parameters from a research weather model for Greenland, Hirlam-Newsnow.
See also, Study: Antarctica’s ice sheet survived warmer times, remains stable today
See also, Antarctic study shows central ice sheet is stable since milder times
by Peter Teffer, May 4, 2017 in euobserver
The EU’s statistical agency Eurostat announced Thursday (4 May) that CO2 emissions resulting from the EU’s energy use have “slightly decreased” in 2016, compared to the year before.
But Eurostat’s press release did not mention that the small decrease has not made up for the small increase in CO2 emissions the year before, and that more CO2 was emitted in 2016 than in 2014.
by Jean-Claude Pont, c/o Uskek, 3 mai 2017
Jean-Claude Pont écrit au rédacteur en chef de « Science … & pseudo-sciences », à propos de l’article « réchauffement climatique » paru dans le numéro 317 de la revue. Il entend rectifier ce qu’il tient pour « des manquements importants, parfois des ambiguïtés, voulues ou inconscientes ».
by University of Maryland, in Nature, February 27, 2017
New research suggests that plate tectonics began later in Earth’s history
But new research suggests that this was not always the case. Instead, shortly after Earth formed and began to cool, the planet’s first outer layer was a single, solid but deformable shell. Later, this shell began to fold and crack more widely, giving rise to modern plate tectonics.
see also in French
by Carlos Jaramillo et al., Science Advances, May 3, 2017
The Neogene history of Amazonia is essential for understanding the evolution of the rainforest and associated fauna living in one of the most diverse places on Earth. A central question about our understanding of Amazonia remains unsolved: Did continental-scale marine flooding occur in western Amazonia during the Neogene? Miocene marine transgressions in the continental interior would have had a profound effect on the diversification and structuring of both terrestrial and aquatic Neotropical communities
by Dr David Whitehouse, GWPF Science Editor, May 4, 2017
A new paper has been published in the Analysis section of Nature called Reconciling controversies about the ‘global warming hiatus.’ It confirms that the ‘hiatus’ or ‘pause’ is real. It is also rather revealing.
It attempts to explain the ‘Pause’ by looking into what is known about climate variability. They say that four years after the release of the IPCC AR5 report, which contained much about the ‘hiatus’ it is time to see what can be learned.
One could be a little sarcastic in saying why would Nature devote seven of its desirable pages to an event that some vehemently say never existed and maintain its existence has been disproved long ago. Now, however, as the El Nino spike of the past few years levels off, analysing the ‘pause’ seems to be coming back into fashion.
by Yves Goddéris et al., April 10, 2017, Nature Geoscience
The onset of the late Palaeozoic ice age about 340 million years ago has been attributed to a decrease in atmospheric CO2 concentrations associated with expansion of land plants, as plants both enhance silicate rock weathering—which consumes CO2—and increase the storage of organic carbon on land. However, plant expansion and carbon uptake substantially predate glaciation
by M. Duncan and R. Dasgupta, April 25, 2017, Nature Geoscience
We suggest that immobilization of organic carbon in subduction zones and deep sequestration in the mantle facilitated the rise (~103–5 fold) and maintenance of atmospheric oxygen since the Palaeoproterozoic and is causally linked to the Great Oxidation Event. Our modelling shows that episodic recycling of organic carbon before the Great Oxidation Event may also explain occasional whiffs of atmospheric oxygen observed in the Archaean.
by Michael Cooper, May 2, 2017
Anyone with doubts about China’s demand for energy including for thermal coal needed to sustain its gigantic economy should cast their eyes over the latest statistics for power generation from Beijing’s National Statistics Bureau.
These data are a treasure trove in terms of revealing trends in China’s energy production and appetite for thermal coal sourced from both inside China and from imports shipped from countries including, Australia, Indonesia and Russia.
by Bergen University, March 17, 2016
At the peak of the last ice age, a vast ice sheet covered northern Europe, spanning from the British Isles, across Scandinavia and into Russia in the east and the Barents Sea in the north. A new reconstruction of this ice sheet shows the interaction between climate and glaciers — how the ice sheet grows and retreats
by University of Leeds, May 2, 2017
An international team of researchers, led by the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds, are the first to map the change in ice speed. The team collated measurements recorded by five different satellites to track changes in the speed of more than 30 glaciers since 1992.
Glacier flow at the southern Antarctic Peninsula has increased since the 1990s, but a new study has found the change to be only a third of what was recently reported.