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Climate/Carbon & Geobiology News Archive


Losing the ability to fly gave ancient penguins their unique locomotion style. But leaving the sky behind didn’t cause major changes in their brain structure, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin suggest after examining the skull of the oldest known penguin fossil. The findings were published in the Journal of Anatomy in February. “What…

Researchers have discovered a new species of extinct worm lizard in Texas and dubbed it the “Lone Star” lizard. The species — the first known example of a worm lizard in Texas — offers evidence that Texas acted as a subtropical refuge during one of the great cooling periods of the past. A paper describing…

As part of the burgeoning cooperation between the United States and China over climate change, The University of Texas at Austin will host one of China’s top experts on carbon sequestration, a method to store carbon dioxide and fight climate change. Di Zhou of the the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences,…

In a finding that could change the way scientists think about bird evolution, researchers have found that the shape of bird wings is influenced more by how closely related species are to one another than by flight style. The research challenges scientific beliefs that assume the way a bird species flies—whether it primarily dives, glides…

  Researchers have discovered a species of extinct pig-nose turtle that lived alongside dinosaurs and fills a gap in understanding the evolution of turtles. “Anatomically, it’s one of the most bizarre turtles that ever lived,” said Joshua Lively, who describes the species today in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. “More importantly, it adds to a…

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found that a well-known period of abrupt climate change 12,000 years ago occurred rapidly in northern latitudes but much more gradually in equatorial regions, a discovery that could prove important for understanding and responding to future climate change. The research, published Sept. 2 in Nature Communications,…

There’s likely to be more rain than normal throughout most of Texas this summer, according to a new forecasting method thought to be more accurate than traditional climate models for predicting summer rainfall across the state. The forecast, created by The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences and the Texas Water Development…

An international research team is formalizing plans to drill nearly 5,000 feet below the seabed to take core samples from the crater of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. The group met last week in Merida, Mexico, a city within the nearly 125-mile-wide impact site, to explain the research plans and put out a…

The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences and the Texas Water Development Board have published a study about early warming indicators of drought in Texas. The work may lead to a much better forecast of summer rainfall throughout the state. This is an important indicator of drought in Texas, because droughts can…

Think of the Sahara and you will conjure images of a vast desert landscape, with nothing but sand as far as the eye can see.  But for a period of about 10,000 years, the Sahara was characterized by lush, green vegetation and a network of lakes, rivers and deltas. This “green Sahara” occurred between 14,800…

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