Sunday, May 19, 2019

Really Old Climate Records

The paleontologist who discovered the Burgess Shale in 1909 was so impressed with the extent and diversity of the layers of fossils, that he returned over a dozen times, finding more life forms every time. Over the years the Geologic Survey of Canada and the Royal Ontario Museum got involved and many additional outcrops have been found, stratigraphically both higher and lower than the original. These layers continue to yield new organisms faster than they can be studied.

Here is an explanation of the haiku on the painting of Emerald Lake and the Burgess Shale, above:
Line 1: Shale stores ‘fossil fuel’ energy.
Line 2: Paleoclimatologists studying fossil records found a rapid acceleration in the diversification of complex organisms during the Cambrian Explosion, a period half a billion years ago, during which most major phyla in existence today appeared.
Line 3: When researchers understand the climate of time of the Cambrian Explosion and its effects, this could add synergistically to their ability to predict long-term future effects of the range and rate of climate change.