Earth & Climate
Paleontologists at Southern Methodist University have measured the carbon isotopes in marine fossils from Bentiaba, Angola to precisely date for the first time 30 million years of sediments along Africa’s South Atlantic shoreline.
They dated the richest marine reptile fossil bed along Africa’s South Atlantic to 71.5 million years ago. Continue reading
The Science piece by Michael Balter highlights Meltzer’s new study showing a comet was not responsible for sudden climate change at the end of the Ice Age. Proponents of the comet-impact theory have pointed to sedimentary deposits that they say prove a comet hit the Earth, killing the Clovis culture and causing mass extinction of many animals. Continue reading
Nature: Prehistoric impact idea smacked down — dates of reported cosmic collision can’t explain North American extinctions
The Nature piece by Alexandra Witze focuses on Meltzer’s latest study to show that a comet was not responsible for sudden climate change at the end of the Ice Age 12,800 years ago. Proponents of the comet-impact theory have pointed to sedimentary deposits that they say prove that an object from outer space hit the Earth, killing the Clovis culture and causing the mass extinction of many animals.
Comet theory false; doesn’t explain cold snap at the end of the Ice Age, Clovis changes or mass animal extinction
As proof, proponents point to sediments with deposits they believe could only result from a cosmic impact. A new study disproves the theory, said lead-author and archaeologist David Meltzer, SMU. Continue reading
Using satellite imagery to monitor which volcanoes are deforming provides statistical evidence of their eruption potential, according to a new study in Nature Communications.
The European Space Agency’s Sentinel satellite, launched April 3, should allow scientists to test this link in greater detail and eventually develop a forecast system for all volcanoes, including those that are remote and inaccessible. Continue reading
Renewable Energy World: Where’s the Heat? Geothermal Industry Seeks Resource Assessment Tools to Spur Development
In a renewable energy report on geothermal technology, the renewable energy news web site Renewable Energy World.com covered the SMU Geothermal Laboratory‘s research to locate and quantify the huge geothermal resources available for production from existing oil wells within Texas. The report relied on the expertise of SMU geothermal expert Maria Richards, director of the SMU Geothermal Laboratory.
The article by associate editor Megan Cichon, “Where’s the Heat? Geothermal Industry Seeks Resource Assessment Tools to Spur Development,” published April 16. Continue reading
Journalist Lauren Aguirre of the SMU Daily Campus covered the research of SMU physicist Thomas E. Coan, an associate professor in the SMU Department of Physics.
Coan works with more than 200 scientists around the world to study one of the universe’s most elusive particles — the neutrino.
Journalist Jehadu Abshiro of the SMU Daily Campus covered the research of SMU seismologist Heather R. DeShon.
DeShon is leading the effort to trace the source of a recent sequence of small earthquakes in North Texas and any relationship they may have to the injection of waste water by energy companies using shale gas production to recover gas.
Neutrinos are generated in nature through the decay of radioactive elements and from high-energy collisions between fundamental particles, such as in the Big Bang that ignited the universe. Continue reading