Newly discovered mass extinction event triggered the dawn of the dinosaurs

Our new research has discovered how a series of volcanic eruptions 233 million years ago fundamentally changed life on Earth.

Michael J. Benton, Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology, University of Bristol • conversation
Sept. 16, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: geology dinosaurs paleontology tetrapods volcanoes mass-extinctions cretaceous-period

Video: How ancient ice cores show ‘black swan’ events in history – even pandemics

Ice cores can preserve evidence of 'black swan' events like pandemics and droughts, but the glaciers from which they are collected are disappearing.

Ellen Mosley-Thompson, Distinguished University Professor, Geography (Atmospheric Sciences), Senior Research Scientist, The Ohio State University • conversation
Sept. 3, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: geology climate-change atmospheric-science glaciers ice-cores paleoclimatology glaciology

Marie Tharp pioneered mapping the bottom of the ocean 6 decades ago – scientists are still learning about Earth's last frontier

Born on July 30, 1920, geologist and cartographer Tharp changed scientific thinking about what lay at the bottom of the ocean – not a featureless flat, but rugged and varied terrain.

Suzanne OConnell, Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Wesleyan University • conversation
July 28, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: earth-science geology women-in-science women plate-tectonics maps mapping oceans cartography continents ocean-floor geosciences seamounts marine-geology continental-shelf

What will COVID-19 look like to geologists in the far future?

They will find minimal traces of the virus itself, but lots of PPE.

Jan Zalasiewicz, Professor of Palaeobiology, University of Leicester • conversation
July 28, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: geology covid-19 coronavirus anthropocene

Billions of years ago, the rise of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere caused a worldwide deep freeze

Scientists have now dated the 'Great Oxidation Event' to just before the planet's first 'snowball' period.

Matthew Warke, Research Fellow, School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of St Andrews • conversation
June 2, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: geology geochemistry snowball-earth

Prehistoric climate change damaged the ozone layer and led to a mass extinction

New research on the Late Devonian extinction suggests the ozone layer could be naturally depleted as the temperature rises.

John Marshall, Professor of Earth Science, University of Southampton • conversation
June 1, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: geology climate-change palaeontology mass-extinction ozone-layer ozone ozone-depletion devonian-period

Tomanowos, the meteorite that survived mega-floods and human folly

Tomanowos, aka the Willamette Meteorite, may be the world's most interesting rock. Its story includes catastrophic ice age floods, theft of Native American cultural heritage and plenty of human folly.

Daniel Garcia-Castellanos, Earth scientist, Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra Jaume Almera (ICTJA - CSIC) • conversation
April 24, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: astrophysics space geology ice-age native-americans museums meteorites oregon native-american-culture washington outer-space

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