Dinosaurs were pretty big – and yes, that’s how evolution had them in mind

All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey – which means it’s time for the Geological Society of America annual meeting. A couple of days packed with discussions and research presentations about stuff you did not know in … Continue reading

GSA meeting tries to define the ‘Geomorphology of the Anthropocene’

How have humans influenced Earth? Can geoscientists measure when human impacts began overtaking those of Earth’s other inhabitants and that of the natural Earth system? Responding to increasing scientific recognition that humans have become the foremost agent of change at … Continue reading

Life had a small surprise just after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction

You may have felt really lonely walking the face of Earth. Until you looked closer. [Btw: who needs peer-reviewed literature when you've got the annual festival of presentations at the Geological Society of America?]

Ice age riddle nr2: If Lake Agassiz drained at wrong time, what caused Younger Dryas?

In our first ice age riddle a couple of days ago we looked at the link between CO2 rise and ice retreat, after the last ice age had reached its max, some 18,000 years ago.

Rare space radiation disasters may lead to extinction events – just how deadly is a two-month ozone hole?

Both supernovae and extreme solar flares can damage Earth’s ozone layer. But perhaps a black hole swallowing a neutron star somewhere not too far away gives a bigger punch – lasting a second or so.

Arctic ocean acidification faster than predictions

Cold water absorbs more CO2, so it is around the Poles that the consequences of ocean acidification are first felt. Pteropods – tiny swimming Arctic sea snails – have difficulty building their shells at CO2 levels very close to the … Continue reading