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See section 1. These will be designed to develop world leading knowledge of energy technologies such as shale gas and carbon capture and storage. If this project were to progress it could become the first tidal lagoon project in the world. For more information on the proposed tidal lagoon project see this story on the BBC News Website and see 1. Swansea Bay where the new Tidal Lagoon would be located.

Source — Kakoui, Wikimedia Commons. And lastly there was a pretty important note about Postgraduate Taught Masters funding. The geological community has been dismayed at the lack of funding for postgraduate taught masters for sometime in particular becuase many of the Taught Masters Programs such as Petroleums Geophysics and Hydrogeology are seen as essential for careers in these areas. The lack of any funding framework for such courses, and the reduction in Industrial funding and scholarships has put real pressure on students wanting to pursue careers in this highly technical area.

A consultation to inform the design of the scheme is set to follow early next year. For more information on this announcement see this piece in the Times Higher Education webpage. Brand Peak , Antarctica.

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Source : euphro, Wikimedia Commons. Over the past few decades, satellites have monitored the changes of these icy landscapes, revealing that parts of Greenland and West Antarctica are melting. This is important as it contributes to sea level rise, which can have significant impacts on vulnerable coastal lands.


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One big question Earth scientists have busied themselves with is just how stable this ice sheet is, and whether or not it will be affected by the continuing CO2 emissions and rising temperatures that are projected for the coming century. To try and get some answers, scientists can turn to the past.

A map of the world after four degrees of warming

Sketch of a core being sampled from the seafloor. Between about 5 and 2. By going to the bottom of the ocean and studying ancient Antarctic sediments from this time, Earth scientists can try to paint a picture of what Antarctica looked like under these conditions, which scientists suggest we may be facing in a few decades. The chemical composition of buried sediment grains, dust and tiny algae can reveal information about the temperature of the water, its salinity, and also where the buried material physically came from before it found its way to the bottom of the ocean. By using very sensitive geochemical fingerprinting tools, scientists have for example found that sediments taken from the seafloor km off the coast of East Antarctica had originally come from a region of Antarctica called the Wilkes Basin, today buried deep under the ice sheet.

For material from the Wilkes Basin to have been eroded and transported to the bottom of the sea, this region must have been out in the open and ice-free. Today, such a rise, if it were to happen, could have important consequences. Microfossils from a sediment core. Geological core repository for sediment samples. Flo summarises 5 geo-relevant policy issues that are likely to impact on the Scottish Independence Referendum. Hitting the headlines in the UK this week is the impending referendum for Scottish Independence taking place on the 18th September.

Latest polling suggests that the vote outcome is on a knife-edge. Either way, the build-up and inevitable political wrangling after the result undoubtedly means that the situation has changed for everyone, regardless of the outcome. One thing is for sure: the implications of an independent Scotland means big changes for both countries, the shape of which is still little understood and requires much discussion in the negotiation stages.

This topic, like others with a geopolitical element, tells another interesting story about the link between the fortuitous geo-location of resources and the creation of nation states. Source — Wikimedia Commons, Credit: Inwind.

The Four Degrees of Sprain Injuries

Since then the UK government, via the UK continental shelf economic region, has controlled licensing of hydrocarbon extraction. This has been a particularly crucial source of revenue for the UK which peaked in with production of ,m3 6 million barrels a day. In an independent Scotland, income from the remaining hydrocarbons in the North Sea would provide a considerable amount of revenue, but the rights over the North Sea, in the event of an independent Scotland are unclear, as it is yet to be negotiated.

The majority of the confusion over this issue arises from the line in the North Sea that would demarcate Scottish territory. Further complications lie in the debate over the estimates of reserve remaining and whether it is more difficult to extract geologists will be more than familiar with this sort of uncertainty!! North Sea oil and gas fields distribution.

Joanna Sigrid Martinez completed high school at age 16.

A fact check produced by Channel 4 earlier this year cast doubt on the values of remaining reserves. These unknowns have made confident and informed arguments on this topic difficult for both sides.

This may not be critical, however, as leaving the North Sea out of the Scottish economy completely, it is still a thriving economy: only slightly smaller than that of the UK. This Changes Everything: Capitalism v. It was at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro that governments first agreed to do something about climate change. The UN tried again in Nearly two hundred countries signed up to the Kyoto Protocol, which contained legally binding targets for emissions reductions.

Many of the Kyoto signatory nations did manage reductions, but they accounted for only a third of global emissions — which, as before, kept rising. In , the much vaunted climate summit in Copenhagen, which was intended to agree binding global targets to come into effect from , collapsed in disarray, sabotaged by the US and China.

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Then, in , in Doha, everyone agreed it was time to start negotiating another agreement, to be in place by , nearly three decades after they all first agreed to act. Today, carbon dioxide emissions are at record levels and rising, and no one appears to be willing or able to control them.

Given everything we know about climate change, why are we still ignoring it? This was probably a smart decision, because the news is all bad. Four degrees of warming, Marshall tells us, is likely to bring heatwaves of magnitudes never experienced before, and temperatures not seen on Earth in the last five million years.

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Forty per cent of plant and animal species would be at risk of extinction, a third of Asian rainforests would be under threat and most of the Amazon would be at high risk of burning down. Crop yields would collapse, possibly by a third in Africa. US production of corn, soy beans and cotton would fall by up to 82 per cent.

Four degrees guarantees the total melting of the Greenland ice sheet and probably the Western Antarctic ice sheet, which would raise sea levels by more than thirty feet. What explains the gulf between what we know about these potential terrors and what we are not doing to stop them? Most discussions of climate change start from the curious assumption that if we can just give people the information they need, they will demand action, and then the politicians will have to take action, and then we can begin tackling the problem.

This is almost completely the wrong way round. The real problem comes when we start trying to cram climate change into our pre-existing ideological boxes. In the US in particular, climate change has become a central weapon in a culture war between left and right. Climate scientists themselves, asked by Marshall about their long-haul flights, come up with some dubious rationalisations. Exasperated, one guest dropped the subject of climate change onto the well-ordered table.

Then someone decided to break the silence. What will destroy this web of denial, displacement and paralysis? Rather the opposite: it threatens to entrench the cultural polarisation which Marshall identifies as a main obstacle to action. Klein lays out her stall early on. Llanos told her that Bolivia, the poorest country in Latin America and one dependent on glaciers for its water, saw climate change both as a threat and an opportunity.

We have only a decade. More than this, it is an opportunity for the left to succeed where it has previously failed. As in her previous books, Klein does a fine job here of exposing the way private capital has not only bound the hands of governments but sucked in organisations that should know better. What can explain this? Challenging this story, she says, is the first step towards showing it up for the self-serving fiction it is. Though expert at exposing corporate wrongs, Klein is less good at suggesting how to right them.