Geologists uncover Antarctica’s fossil forests

“Prehistoric polar forests were built for survival, but were not hardy enough to live in ultra-high concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. A geologist is studying the tree fossil record in Antarctica from a mass extinction 250 million years ago, looking for clues to how greenhouse gases affected plants — then and now.”

By the trip’s end, the geologists had found fossil fragments of 13 trees. The discovered fossils reveal that the trees are over 260 million years old, meaning that this forest grew at the end of the Permian Period, before the first dinosaurs.

“People have known about the fossils in Antarctica since the 1910-12 Robert Falcon Scott expedition,” said Gulbranson, a paleoecologist and visiting assistant professor in UWM’s Department of Geosciences. “However, most of Antarctica is still unexplored. Sometimes, you might be the first person to ever climb a particular mountain.”

Learn More – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee- Erik Gulbranson,

Featured Course – Restoring Urban Ecosystems

“The geologic record shows us the beginning, middle and end of climate change events,” Gulbranson said. “With further study, we can better understand how greenhouse gases and climate change affect life on Earth.”   (Question- Does his statement put the cart before the horse?)

 

Earth’s Magnetic Poles Swapping ??

“The Earth’s magnetic field surrounds our planet like an invisible force field – protecting life from harmful solar radiation by deflecting charged particles away. Far from being constant, this field is continuously changing. Indeed, our planet’s history includes at least several hundred global magnetic reversals, where north and south magnetic poles swap places. So when’s the next one happening and how will it affect life on Earth?

During a reversal the magnetic field won’t be zero, but will assume a weaker and more complex form. It may fall to 10% of the present-day strength and have magnetic poles at the equator or even the simultaneous existence of multiple “north” and “south” magnetic poles.

Geomagnetic reversals occur a few times every million years on average. However, the interval between reversals is very irregular and can range up to tens of millions of years.

There can also be temporary and incomplete reversals, known as events and excursions, in which the magnetic poles move away from the geographic poles – perhaps even crossing the equator – before returning back to their original locations. The last full reversal, the Brunhes-Matuyama, occurred around 780,000 years ago. A temporary reversal, the Laschamp event, occurred around 41,000 years ago. It lasted less than 1,000 years with the actual change of polarity lasting around 250 years.

Power cut or mass extinction?  (Read More)

For the climate group – “The difficulties of predicting the weather beyond a few days are widely known, despite us living within and directly observing the atmosphere. Yet predicting the Earth’s core is a far more difficult prospect, principally because it is buried beneath 3,000km of rock such that our observations are scant and indirect”

Training Profile – “Tracking Carbon“?

Waste-to-Energy Workshop- Small Scale Digesters and Combined Heat and Power

Featured Link: Training Professionals for the Energy Sector.

Waste-to-Energy Workshop: Improving the Feasibility of Small-Scale Digesters and CHP

This event will take place at West Chester University of Pennsylvania on December 1st, 2017 at 10 am. It will focus on the emerging market of small-scale organic waste-to-energy systems for campuses and facilities, food processors, and breweries, as well as small farms and wastewater treatment plants. The event is free and open to those in related industries or academic studies. A discussion and networking luncheon will follow the seminar.

Speakers will include Dr. John Pisciotta of the Pisciotta Lab at West Chester University who has developed microbially-based platforms for bioremediation of waste streams into fuels and useful products. Ken Smith of SeaB Energy, which produces modular digesters, and Jill Santos and Dan Sodomsky of Duryea Technologies, a manufacturer of brushless motors and gen sets for biogas applications, will present new commercial technologies for small-scale waste-to-energy.

For additional details, directions and to RSVP, please visit wcuwastetoenergy.eventbrite.com.

Contact:
Julien Sherwood
Event Organizer
Student, Department of Political Science
West Chester University

js829466@wcupa.edu

205 Ruby Jones Hall
50 University Avenue
West Chester, PA 19383

Putting the Words Timely and Geology Together with Climate

“Sedimentary layers record the history of Earth. They contain stratigraphic cycles and patterns that precisely reveal the succession of climatic and tectonic conditions that have occurred over millennia, thereby enhancing our ability to understand and predict the evolution of our planet. Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, — together with colleagues at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and American and Spanish scientists — have been working on an analytical method that combines observing deep-water sedimentary strata and measuring in them the isotopic ratio between heavy and light carbon. They have discovered that the cycles that punctuate these sedimentary successions are not, as one might think, due solely to the erosion of mountains that surround the basin, but are more ascribable to sea level changes.  This research, which you can read in the journal Geology, paves the way for new uses of isotopic methods in exploration geology.”

Read More at  “Sea level as a metronome of Earth’s history

Different Perspective on Climate (Climate Science News)

Recommended Book – “The Beaches are Moving

100% Renewable is the a Realistic Goal or a No Pipe Dream

100% Renewable is the a Realistic Goal or a No Pipe Dream

This is not a standard article but a look just specifically at the issue of energy. To set some basic ground rules we have to agree on some facts:

We are not in an energy crisis, we are in a crisis related to energy waste and poor and ineffective distribution and storage.
1. We waste over 58 % of the energy we use in the USA.
2. This energy waste is double what we actually need.
3. This annual energy waste, production, lack of use, distribution inefficiencies, and waste heat, in just one year in the USA could power the UK for 7 years.
4. We are leaving money on the table that could go economy and help our countries and others.

Inefficient Production
1. Wind and solar have low inefficiencies for energy production compared to other source. So they really only make sense NOW in specific corridors or regions. 
2. The primary problem is these regions are not were the core demand in the USA is located and we lack an energy distribution network. 
3. Inefficient distribution, production, and waste requires building multiple times demand capacity to meet peak demand. Because of the lack of solid storage systems, such as battery technology, inefficient distribution and production we need to overbuild to meet peak capacity if we rely sole on renewable. A thought process:

How to Get There !-   1 Quadrillion Btus per year = 2,739,730,000,000 BTUs/day
Solar (100 % Efficiency) – 433 Btu/hr per square foot
Available 24 hours per day
Need 6100 acres of Solar Panels

Waite – Solar-Assume Solar Efficiency Assume 10% (high) – Only Available about 8 hours per day
Need 182,000+ acres of Solar Panels, plus storage and duplicate capacity.

Wind- 25 % Conversion
Need about 270,000 10 MW Turbines, plus storage and duplicate capacity.

These analysis does not factor in transmission losses.  If there was only a 10% loss and no other inefficiencies, we would multiple the calculated values by 1.1, but we have a use inefficiency of 58%.  This means are multiplication factor is at least 1.9 to 2 +.   So – 360,000 acres of solar panels and 540,000 10 MW turbines.

The goal for renewable should not be based on a Carbon or CO2 hammer and we must stop this myth of Man controlled climate.  Climate on this Earth has not been constant, it is in dynamic equilibrium with Sun, Earth Process, and to a lesser extent life on Earth.

It is very likely man is having an influence on the climate, but this is not likely CO2 production but deforestation, building in the wrong places, heat island effects, and not adapting to our environment.  As an alternative approach, we are suggesting the following:

  1. Fact based discussions about energy, economy, politics, and culture.  We are humans so science (facts) and cultural discussions are linked, but we should not be using Fear as a rally cry.
  2. Concentration on energy waste reduction  – individuals, homes, small business, and government.
  3. Distribution – We should focus on “hardening” the grid and creating capacity and duplicity were needed.  We must start linking “renewable and other energy sources” and take advantage of the energy diversity in the USA.
  4. Storage – we must develop efficient storage technologies.
  5. The solution is not a CO2 hammer, electric cars, or a 100% renewable life cycle, but an all the above approach.  
  6. Remember our beaches are moving, we live on a planet with the plates move and we have the Great Earth Engine.  (Geothermal is a great asset for the USA).
  7. Energy and energy technology – we must not be hoarders, but exports of energy and energy technology and I do not mean low cost solar panels, but micro-grid energy systems that use multiple fuel stocks that can power rural villages and towns and not a Carbon Tax.
  8. If we cut our waste, we cut CO2 emissions. This makes the CO2 emissions benchmark useless and to be honest the arguments based on climate change and CO2 are weak.
  9. Stop the 100 % renewable myth (all the above approach).

I have never recommended a book to read – this is the first, but I strongly recommend “Scare Pollution“, 2016.

I also like “Human Caused Global Warming“, but I really wish the author hired and used an editor.