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Climate/Carbon & Geobiology News Archive


A new study correlates a series of small earthquakes near Snyder, Texas between 2006 and 2011 with the underground injection of large volumes of gas, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) — a finding that is relevant to the process of capturing and storing CO2 underground. Although the study suggests that underground injection of gas triggered the…

The Miracle of Flight

Nobody had any idea just how gigantic a pterosaur could be until the spring of 1971. Douglas A. Lawson, MA ’72, was a 22-year-old graduate student in geology that year working under the supervision of professor Wann Langston. Lawson announced the discovery of his pterosaur in a 1975 article in Science. In that pre-Jurassic Park era, when…

Professor Jim Sprinkle Retires

Jim Sprinkle, First Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Yager Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences, has retired after 42 years of teaching and conducting research at the University. A celebration in his honor is being planned for Friday, November 15. His research focused on Paleozoic marine communities and especially on early (and now mostly…

Although it may not be noticeable to the naked eye, the sea is rising along the Texas Gulf Coast. This rise poses a significant risk to a Texas coast that is otherwise extremely flat. Moreover, this rise, in combination with the surge that accompanies hurricanes and tropical storms, will make more and more areas vulnerable to…

The Amazon rain forest’s dry season lasts three weeks longer than it did 30 years ago, and the likely culprit is global warming, according to a new study by Rong Fu and her colleagues. The new findings forecast a more parched future for the Amazon rain forest than the climate report released last month by…

A new study suggests the southern portion of the Amazon rainforest is at a much higher risk of dieback due to stronger seasonal drying than projections made by the climate models used in the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). If severe enough, the loss of rainforest could cause the release…

Joseph Levy was preparing for a season of scientific research in Antarctica last week when he got the call: Stand down. Dr. Levy, a research associate at UT Austin’s Institute for Geophysics, is studying the climate history of the dry valleys of Antarctica by analyzing buried ice sheets that have been frozen since the last ice age…

Colleagues and former students of Wann Langston Jr., an internationally renowned vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Texas at Austin who died in April 2013, have produced a special volume honoring his many decades of work collecting, preparing and describing ancient reptiles. The collection of articles appeared online in September and October and will be…

This Article reprinted from the website Domain-b. The oldest genome so far from a prehistoric creature has been sequenced by an international team, led by scientists from the Natural History Museum of Denmark (University of Copenhagen). The team, which included recent Jackson School postdoctoral fellow Jakob Vinther of the University of Bristol, sequenced and analysed short…

Memorial: Wann Langston, Jr.

It is with deep regret that I write to confirm that Dr. Wann Langston, Jr. passed away late on Sunday, April 7, 2013. He succumbed following a protracted battle with cancer, but he was surrounded by his children and very much at peace in his last months. Wann’s lifelong fascination with fossils spans nearly nine…

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