SMU Forum Originally Posted: December 7, 2017 Fossil leaves from Africa have resolved a prehistoric climate puzzle — and also confirm the link between carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global warming. Research until now has produced a variety of results and conflicting data that have cast doubt on the link between high carbon dioxide levels and climate change for a time interval about 22 million years ago. But a new study has found the link does indeed exist for that prehistoric time period, say SMU researchers. The finding will help scientists understand how recent and future increases in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide may impact the future of our planet, they add. The discovery comes from new biochemical analyses of fossil leaves from [...]
KQED Science Originally Posted: November 27, 2017 If you’re losing sleep over the blue light coming from your phone, there’s an app for that. In fact, there are now lots of apps that promise to improve sleep by filtering out the blue light produced by phones, tablets, computers and even televisions. But how well do these apps work? There haven’t been any big studies to answer that question. So I phoned a couple of scientists who study the link between blue light exposure and sleep. My first call is to Lisa Ostrin, an assistant professor at the University of Houston College of Optometry. Ostrin owns an iPhone. And every iPhone comes with an app called Night Shift that lets you filter out blue light. So [...]
Washington Post Originally Posted: November 24, 2017 An unnatural number of earthquakes hit Texas in the past decade, and the region's seismic activity is increasing. In 2008, two earthquakes stronger than magnitude 3 struck the state. Eight years later, 12 did. Natural forces trigger most earthquakes. But humans are causing earthquakes, too, with mining and dam construction the most frequent suspects. There has been a recent increase in natural gas extraction — including fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, but other techniques as well — which produces a lot of wastewater. To get rid of it, the water is injected deep into the ground. When wastewater works its way into dormant faults, the thinking goes, the water's pressure nudges the ancient cracks. Pent-up tectonic stress releases and the ground shakes. But for any [...]
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! SMU is closed November 23 and 24.
Omaha World Journal Originally Posted: November 15, 2017 Former Omahan Neil Tabor has embarked upon a journey to the geographic end of the world to study a past end of the world (of sorts) in hopes of preventing a future end of the world. The Central High and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate — now a Dallas-based geologist and professor at Southern Methodist University — is bound for Antarctica on a project funded by the National Science Foundation. He’ll be stationed for about 2½ months in a tent camp on the frozen continent’s east side studying rocks so old they predate the dinosaurs and even the existence of the planet’s formation of the seven continents as we know them. His job in Antarctica won’t be measuring [...]
SMU Research Originally Posted: Nov. 14, 2017 Co-authors from the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences in Dedman College are professors Bonnie Jacobs, an expert in paleobotany and paleoclimate, and Neil J. Tabor, an expert in sedimentology and sedimentary geochemistry. Fossil leaves from Africa have resolved a prehistoric climate puzzle — and also confirm the link between carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global warming. Research until now has produced a variety of results and conflicting data that have cast doubt on the link between high carbon dioxide levels and climate change for a time interval about 22 million years ago. But a new study has found the link does indeed exist for that prehistoric time period, say researchers at Southern Methodist University, Dallas. The finding will help scientists understand [...]
KERA Originally Posted: November 13, 2017 The same fault that produced the 4 magnitude earthquake in May 2015 in Johnson County — the strongest ever recorded in North Texas — could create an even larger one in the future, a recent study has found. Heather DeShon, a seismologist at Southern Methodist University, led the study that focuses on the quake that struck near the town of Venus. The quake in the Bend Arch-Fort Worth Basin was triggered by the underground disposal of wastewater from oil and gas operations, the report concluded. And it wasn't the first earthquake on that fault, which is a weakness in the earth's crust. Earthquakes have been happening in the area since 2008, DeShon said. Her team has also studied the [...]
New York Times Originally Posted: November 3, 2017 Many colleges ask you to choose a major as early as your senior year of high school, on your admissions application. Yet there’s a good chance you’ll change your mind. The Education Department says that about 30 percent of students switch majors at least once. Students get plenty of advice about picking a major. It turns out, though, that most of it is from family and friends, according to aSeptember Gallup survey. Only 11 percent had sought guidance from a high school counselor, and 28 percent from a college adviser. And most didn’t think that the advice was especially helpful. Maybe it’s because much of the conventional thinking about majors is wrong. READ MORE
SMU Homecoming: November 4, 2017 Reconnect with friends and classmates on the Boulevard before the Homecoming football game on Saturday, November 4, 2017. Kickoff is at 6:15 p.m. and the parade on the Boulevard is at 3:15 p.m. Join us at the Dedman College tent immediately following the parade on the corner of Bishop & Binkley. You can find the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and Alumni Relations tent located on the old Natatorium site.