Using novel geochemical techniques developed by Newcastle University’s Dr Simon Poulton, scientists found that beneath oxygenated surface waters, mid-depth oceanic waters were rich in sulphide about 1.8 billion years ago. These conditions may have persisted until oxygenation of the deep ocean more than one billion years later. These widespread sulphidic conditions close to the continents, coupled with deeper waters that remained oxygen-free and iron-rich, would have placed major restrictions on both the timing and pace of biological evolution.
Continue reading "Ancient Lesson: Did Toxic Seas Delay Evolution of Life on Earth by 1 billion Years?" »
When sherpas ring the warning bell on climate change the world should listen: Mount Everest is becoming increasingly dangerous to climb because global warming is melting glacier ice along its slopes, according to Apa, a Nepalese Sherpa who grew up in the foothills to Mount Everest, reached the
29,035-foot (8,850-metre) summit on Saturday for the 20th time,
breaking his own previous world record for 19 ascents.Rising temperatures have melted much of the ice on the steep trail to the summit and climbers are struggling to get traction on the exposed rock surface.
Continue reading "Sherpas Warn: "Mount Everest Undergoing Dramatic Change from Global Warming"" »
Geologists led by Brown University have determined that Lake Tanganyika, the source of the Congo River, has experienced unprecedented warming during the last century, and its surface waters are the warmest on record. Lake Tanganyika is bordered by Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia — four of the poorest countries in the world, according to the United Nations Human Development Index. An estimated 10 million people live near the lake, and they depend upon it for drinking water and for food. Fishing is a crucial component for the region's diet and livelihood: Up to 200,000 tons of sardines and four other fish species are harvested annually from Lake Tanganyika, a haul that makes up a significant portion of local residents' diets, according to a 2001 report by the Lake Tanganyika Biodiversity Project.
Continue reading "Is Africa's Lake Tanganyika -One of the Planet's Most Ancient & Deepest Lakes is Endangered?" »
High-resolution visible and thermal infrared images captured by a joint NASA-Japanese satellite sensor and compiled by University of Pittsburgh volcanologist Michael Ramsey provide the first clear glimpse of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull that has disrupted air travel worldwide since it began erupting April 14.
Ramsey, an associate professor in Pitt's Department of Geology and Planetary Science, collected images taken by NASA's Earth-orbiting Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflectance Radiometer (ASTER) instrument showing that although the volcano's infamous ash plume is receding, its internal temperature is rising.
Continue reading "Interior of Iceland's Volcano Heating Up" »
With some 80% of airports in Europe shut down due to
the lingering ash cloud created by Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano, we thought it would pay to take an updated look at the possibility of the world's most massive volcano -the Yellowstone Plateau- erupting and the potential consequences. Recent earthquakes on the west side of Yellowstone caldera were part of the intense January/February 2010 earthquake swarm of ~2,350 earthquakes.
Continue reading "Iceland's Warning: Could Yellowstone -The Planet's Most Massive Supervolcano, Erupt? " »
Much of the focus on global warming is always directed towards the obvious; food, water levels, potential social strife. What makes the whole subject even more interesting though is the unexpected consequences of a warming planet. And if new research is to be believed, global warming may have an impact on volcanic eruptions.
A vast cloud of volcanic ash is sweeping across northern Europe today, throwing the continent into a state of chaos as hundreds of flights are canceled due to the pulverized rock and glass from the Icelandic Eyjafjallajokull glacier volcano.
Continue reading "Ash Cloud from Iceland's Eruption Sweeping Across Europe: Are the Planet's Volcanoes Being Triggered by Global Warming?" »
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vast vortex of plastic trash that spans hundreds of miles northwest of Hawaii, has gotten lots of attention ever since billionaire adventurer and environmentalist David de Rothschild announced his plans to visit the trash mass on the Plastiki, a boat constructed from recycled waste and webs of plastic. Now the Plastiki has launched, and a group of architects from Rotterdam have already come up with a plan to covert the gyre into a Hawaii-sized island made entirely out of recycled plastic.
Continue reading "Billionaire Eco-Explorer David de Rothschild's Vision: Turn the Great Pacific Garbage Patch into Habitable Island" »
In a discovery at the bottom of the world that could have implications on the search for extraterrestrial life, researchers were astounded to find an amphipod swimming beneath a massive Ross Ice Shelf, about 12.5 miles away from open water. NASA scientists were using a borehole camera to look back up towards the ice surface when they spotted this pinkish-orange creature swimming 600 feet below the ice, where the NASA team expected to find no higher life form than some microbes.
Continue reading "NASA Discovery At Bottom of World Points to Possible Extraterrestrial Life Forms (VIDEO)" »
No mass extinction on Earth has been so tightly linked to an impact as
the Chicxulub Crater which cuts across the northern Yucatan peninsula
in Mexico in a mighty arc 170 kilometers (105 miles) across. The
crater's size implies an asteroid some 10 kilometers -seven miles- wide
and reaching a depth as deep as the deepest ocean trench plunging the
Earth into a global winter night that cut off photosynthesis for
months, even years.
But one other may make the Chicxulub impact look like a 4th of July
Continue reading "Earth's Biggest Asteroid Impact Ever -Did It Occur in Antarctica? NASA Gravity Maps Point to "Yes"" »
Newly discovered archaeological sites in southern and northern India have revealed how people lived before and after the colossal Toba volcanic eruption 74,000 years ago. Several theories suggest that the Toba eruption plunged the planet into a 6 to 10 year volcanic winter that endangered the world's human population, reducing it to 10,000 or a mere 1,000 breeding pairs. Some researchers argue that the Toba eruption produced a 1,000 year cooling episode.
Continue reading "The Colossal Toba Super-Eruption 74,000 Years Ago Led to Near Extinction of Homo-Sapiens" »