Europe's biggest fossil
By [email protected] on Feb 27 - pm Reveal date: Feb 28 Status: Complete Partners: Counter Balance Tags: Europe, fossil fuels, coal. Europe must sell its final combustion engine car during the early s if the EU is to meet its Paris Agreement goals, a new analysis by green. To date almost institutions across the globe representing funds worth over $5 trillion have made some form of divestment commitment. They include.
The cave deposits in which this was found are extensive, about 18 by 15 meters in horizontal extent, and cohtaining 16 distinct strata. Here is a photo of the mandible, part of Figure 2 in the paper: It may seem difficult to associate such as small bit of bone with a particular type of hominid, let alone even identifying it as a human or human ancestor.
But this bone the anterior mandible is chock full of diagnostic features, and quite a bit can be said about it. Many features pretty clearly link this fossil with "early Homo" and a smaller number of features provisionally link this bone with the particular hominid found previously at this site, known as Homo antecessor.
The animal bones provide clues to the date.
The way this works is as follows: Over time, numerous studies of several different species show that a certain series of changes occurred at roughly the same time for each species a tooth getting longer, for instance. Meanwhile, certain species are found to appear because of migration or evolution or disappear because of climate change or extinction at specific times. There is a little carnivore that links to a site dated in Italy at 1.
There is a rodent that shows up on sites dated to around 0. The fauna suggest a very broad date range, therfore, ranging from about a half million years ago to a million and a half years ago. Paleomagnetic dating relies on the fact that tiny iron-bearing particles orient themselves to the Earth's magnetic field under certain conditions. The Earth's magnetic field changes orientation a little all the time, and totally reverses now and then. If you have a period of several hundred thousand years, you can then divide that into paleomag periods.
The sediments where this mandible were found, as well as sediments above and below, have been studied in detail. This has been linked to studies of the mammal bones for various levels to produce a reasonable dated stratigraphy of these deposits. Paleomagnetic evidence strongly suggests that the upper part of layer TE16 dates to 0. Unfortunately, the paleomagnetics in combination with faunal dates are much more vague than one would ideally like, and it is possible that any of the layers above or below this mandible, and the layer in which it is found, could be of a fairly long time range.
So, an additional technique was applied. This technique, using the radioactive decay of a cosmogenic isotope of Aluminum Aluminum This isotope is formed with the interaction of cosmic rays and dust, slowly settles on the earth in minute quantities, and then proceeds to decay at a known rate. This technique may be affected by contamination of material moving through sediments, improper collecting, etc. In the case of this site, two dates were obtained, one a few layers below the mandible, in layer TE7, dating to 1.
Both have standard errors sufficient to not worry to much about this apparent reversal in age, but to suggest that all of the lower layers at this site are about 1. In my view, the chronology of this site needs further work, and there are probably many opportunities for this to happen. However, the overall age of this site and the specific ages of most of the layers is probably reasonably well understood, and I'm fully prepared to accept that this mandible and associated animal bones, and the tools, are somewhat over a million years old.
The first hominin of Europe. Nature27 March doi: But there are two very special things about it. The first is that its owner was clearly deformed; its asymmetrical skull is a sign of a medical condition called craniosynostosis that's associated with mental retardation.
The second… Nine million years ago, elephants invaded South America For much of the past million years South America was an island continent, and on it organisms evolved in "splendid isolation. Outside of the trash-grubbing black bears I occasionally come across when driving to hikes in northern New Jersey, I never encounter large predators near my home.
The imposing carnivores which once roamed… Amazing Fossil Finding: To cut right to the conclusion: We now have reason to believe that the proto-whale Maiacetus inuus, a true transitional form, gave birth on land, not in the water. Log in to post comments By J-Dog not verified on 27 Mar permalink Thanks for explaining the three dating methods. I accept that the geographic designation of "Europe" is arbitrary. So, if paleontologists got to make the arbitrary designations, what would they come up with?
One of the points swimming around my brain on this is Carbonell et al. However, I fail to see the Straits of Gibraltar as too big a hurdle for migration from Africa directly into Spain. If you'd care to speculate, I'd be delighted to listen. Log in to post comments By chezjake not verified on 27 Mar permalink Going across the Strait of Gibraltar would require a boat, so the question there is who had boats. To the larger question: I think latitude would be a big factor, and major biogeographical barriers as you suggest.
Medium to large scale climate zones are the real answer. But of course these zones change over time.
Europe’s biggest fossil fuel project gets €1.5bn public loan
One thing for sure: Lebanon, Jordon and Israel are in Africa. Log in to post comments By gregladen on 27 Mar permalink I agree you. As far as their order of magnitude is concerned, they are largely uncontentious among climate researchers.Is This the Most Important Date in U.S. History?
Their explosiveness only becomes apparent when one compares them with the quantities of CO2 contained in the oil, gas and coal reserves which states and big business giants have secured for themselves — this means all sources which are already being exploited or have been earmarked for exploitation.
If we calculate how much CO2 they contain altogether, we arrive at a figure of 2, gigatons. This is around three times the maximum which our climate could bear. That in turn would mean that the bulk of oil, gas and coal reserves cannot be burned, and therefore worthless to their owners.
Fossil Fuel investments and the risk of stranded assets For investors, shares in energy companies have been good business in recent years.
Their share prices have risen in an apparently unending manner. But can they continue to do so forever? But what will happen if many of these reserves prove to be worthless?
- G7 nations pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2025
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What impact would this have on share prices? A study by business consultants — McKinsey and the Carbon Trust — have yielded a similar findings.
What will cause such massive losses? That alone would substantially reduce its share price. There would be a secondary effect too: Businesses might therefore only be able to sell part of their oil, gas and coal reserves — and would receive a lower price for what they did sell.
G7 nations pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies by | Environment | The Guardian
To date, businesses have failed to respond to this danger. Ina further bn USD was spent on prospecting and developing new sources of fossil fuels. Likewise, investors remain willing to invest their money in fossil fuels. But how can this be? Should they not adjust their behaviour in the light of the facts? Sir Nicholas Stern, the former chief economist of the World Bank, who is now teaching at the London School of Economics, gives the following explanation: