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Nobel climate scientist dead at 65

20 July 2010, ABC News

Nobel Prize-winning climate change researcher Stephen Schneider has died at the age of 65.

The Stanford University scientist worked on the international research panel on global warming that shared the 2007 Nobel Prize with former US vice-president Al Gore.

He spent 37 years studying the forces influencing the climate, including pioneering work on the effects of aerosols.

Dr Schneider was suffering from a rare cancer but died of a heart attack overnight on a flight between Stockholm and London.

He was a South Australian thinker-in-residence on climate change policy back in 2006.

SA Premier Mike Rann says Dr Schneider’s advice resulted in South Australia becoming one of the first places in the world to introduce greenhouse gas emission reduction legislation.

“Stephen Schneider was a terrific adviser, he was incredibly constructive,” he said.

“He wanted to make a difference in the world and he saw what we were doing here in South Australia as an important opportunity to demonstrate to other places around the world what we could do in terms of tackling climate change.”

Griffith University’s Professor Jean Palutikof says Dr Schneider was recently in Australia and he will be sadly missed.

“He cared that you understood what he was trying to tell you,” she said.

“I don’t think he cared whether you were the man who was collecting the garbage or whether you were the director of the institute he worked for.

“I don’t know of anyone who can begin to take his place.”

Read more…. www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/20/2958903.htm

Race against time to save Great Barrier Reef from ocean acidification

26 June 2010 – couriermail

AUSTRALIA has just 20 years to save the Great Barrier Reef from significant damage by ocean acidification, one of the nation’s foremost authorities on marine science has warned.

Dr Charlie Veron, the former chief scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, said the threat of ocean acidification was not being taken seriously.

Dr Veron, regarded as the “grandfather” of coral reef science in Australia, having discovered 20 per cent of the world’s corals, predicted the Great Barrier Reef would suffer severe damage as a result of the process within the next 20 years.

“Around about 2030, carbon dioxide levels will have reached a point where ocean warming will be killing off most shallow water corals,’’ he said.

“You don’t have to be a scientist to understand that. You just have to look at what’s happened over the past 30 years.’’

Teenager Unearths Dinosaur Era Marine Reptile in Vegetable Garden

A teenager in Queensland, Australia, recently dug up a 100-million-year old Dinosaur Era marine reptile in his school’s vegetable garden. A local museum has since identified the fossil as belonging to an ichthyosaur.

Ichthyosaurs, which could grow to 13 feet in length, were ocean predators that mostly fed on fish and shellfish. Some had such sharp, plentiful teeth that they could crush hard shells with just a few bites.

The Australian city where the fossil was found, Richmond, was once covered by a Cretaceous Sea, so fossils for now-extinct marine reptiles and other prehistoric animals are often found there.

Student Raymond Hodgson never thought he’d make such a discovery, especially while just digging in the veggie garden with some of his classmates.

When Hodgson first unearthed the fossil, he didn’t think much of it and was prepared to keep on shoveling. A groundsman who was also present, Ben Smith, happened to see the object. Smith studies paleontology as a hobby. He recognized the find’s importance.


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