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Climate/Carbon & Geobiology News Archive


New research that revises recently established conventions allowing scientists to decipher color in dinosaurs may also provide a tool for understanding the evolutionary emergence of flight and changes in dinosaur physiology prior to the origin of flight. In a survey comparing the hair, skin, fuzz and feathers of living terrestrial vertebrates and fossil specimens, a…

As the bitter 2011 Texas drought stretched on into its third year, the Jackson School of Geoscience’s Center for Integrated Earth System Science (CIESS) hosted its third annual Water Forum. The forum, held Oct. 14 -15, 2013, focused on the latest research on droughts and other extreme weather events and provided a forum for discussion…

Growing up amid the crisp, cold landscape of the Canadian Rockies, Rowan Martindale’s family liked to vacation in tropical environs with warm waters. As a result, the high-country farm girl learned to snorkel and scuba dive and explored coral reefs at an early age. Now, through her studies of ancient reefs, Martindale, an assistant professor…

While criticized as a water-intensive technique for producing oil and natural gas, hydraulic fracturing  ultimately cuts overall water use  in Texas and makes the state less vulnerable to drought, according to a new study from the University of Texas at Austin. “The bottom line is that hydraulic fracturing, by boosting natural gas production and moving the…

A new study finds that in Texas, the U.S. state that annually generates the most electricity, using natural gas for electricity generation is saving water and making the state less vulnerable to drought. Even though exploration for natural gas requires significant water consumption in Texas, the new consumption is easily offset by the overall water…

In October 2013, the Bureau of Economic Geology’s Tip Meckel led a crew of 27 on a 10-day 3D seismic data collection cruise off the Texas coast in the Gulf of Mexico. This activity was part of a multi-year geologic characterization effort to identify potential carbon dioxide (CO2) storage sites beneath the Texas portion of…

Sediment behind milldams in Pennsylvania preserved leaves deposited just before European contact that provide a glimpse of the ancient forests, according to a team of geoscientists, who note that neither the forests nor the streams were what they are today. “Milldams were built from the late 1600s to the late 1800s in Pennsylvania and other…

When Jay Banner accepted his first faculty position, teaching was just something he had to do so he could do what he really loved—research. In particular, studying the processes by which ocean sediments become rock, tracing underground flow paths of water and using cave formations to reconstruct past climate. His first teaching assignment was an…

Michelle Stocker (PhD ’13), former graduate student in The University of Texas at Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences, has dramatically rearranged the evolutionary tree for several extinct crocodile-like animals that lived over 200 million years ago in present day Texas, Wyoming and Germany. Based on this new understanding, she has renamed one of the specimens…

A cluster of 18 small earthquakes in western Texas was likely triggered by the injection of carbon dioxide into oil wells, according to a study published Monday in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study is the first to link carbon dioxide injections to actual earthquakes, and may help scientists evaluate the…

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