Paleontology

Ancient Warming Caused Huge Spike in Temps, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 19, 2007   View Article

What started out as a moderate global warm-up about 55 million years ago triggered a massive injection of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that sent temperatures skyrocketing, a new study says.

The finding suggests that today’s temperature rise may just be priming the planet for a carbon belch of epic proportions.

Epic Flood Triggered Ancient “Big Chill,” Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 6, 2007   View Article

An epic gush of fresh water into the North Atlantic slowed a deep ocean current and triggered a century-long chill in Europe and North America some 8,200 years ago, according to a new study.

The finding confirms scenarios suggested by previous models of the ancient climate and should raise confidence in predictions made about how the oceans will respond to Greenland’s rapidly melting glaciers, an outside expert said.

T. Rex Quicker Than Fastest Humans, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 23, 2007   View Article

Today’s top athletes would be no contest for meat-eating dinosaurs that ran on two feet, according to new computer simulations of how the extinct predators moved.

Even a six-ton Tyrannosaurus rex, long considered a lumbering beast, could reach a top speed of 18 miles an hour (29 kilometers an hour), according to the simulations.

Dinosaur Extinction Spurred Rise of Modern Mammals, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 20, 2007   View Article

The asteroid that finished off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago opened up niches for the majority of today’s living mammals, according to a new study.

The finding is the latest volley in a long-simmering debate over when and where the direct ancestors of everything from whales to rats to humans first arose.

Volcanic Activity Triggered Deadly Prehistoric Warming

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 26, 2007   View Article

The prehistoric bout of volcanic activity that slowly ripped Greenland from Europe triggered a deadly global warming event, a new study says.

The event, which happened about 55 million years ago, has similarities to today’s climate changes, which have been linked to human generation of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels.

Ancient Fish Fossil May Rewrite Story of Animal Evolution

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 18, 2006   View Article

A fish that swam on an ancient barrier reef in Australia 380 million years ago had fins and nostrils remarkably similar to the limbs and ears of the first four-limbed creatures to walk on land, according to a new study.

Four-limbed land animals, also known as tetrapods, such as modern amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, evolved from lobed-finned fish.

Earth Hottest It’s Been in 400 Years or More, Report Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 23, 2006   View Article

The last two decades of the 20th century were the hottest in 400 years and quite likely the warmest for several millennia, a leading U.S. scientific body concludes in a new report.

The National Academies’ National Research Council report also said “human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming.”

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach