All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
2 07, 2015

Carbon Dioxoide Emissions Threaten Ocean Ecosystems

By | July 2nd, 2015|Animal News Stories, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Marine Life Could Be Irreversibly Damaged

Increased carbon dioxide emissions will cause great damage to oceanic ecosystems that cannot be reversed warns an international team of scientists.  In a new paper, published in the academic journal “Science”, researchers, which include Dr. Carol Turley OBE, of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory state that unless CO2 emissions are curbed, the temperature of the oceans will continue to rise, oxygen levels will continue to fall and more seawater acidification will occur.  The scientists paint a very gloomy picture for the Earth’s oceans declaring that CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels was increasing the acidity of the oceans at a faster rate than at any time since the End Permian extinction event some 250 million years ago, that led to the greatest mass extinction known in the fossil record.  Something like 95% of all the life on Earth died out during this extinction event.

The researchers looked at a number of scenarios and models and the scientists stated that the two degree Celsius maximum temperature rise as agreed by governments is not enough to stave of the damaging effects of increased CO2.  In a very pessimistic outlook, the scientists claim that the range of options is decreasing and the cost of coping with the implications will rocket.   The team of twenty-two leading marine scientists report that politicians are not responding as quickly as they should to the approaching crisis.  The oceans of the world are at risk and more must be done to deal with the impact of global climate change.

The World’s Oceans are Under Threat

Increased CO2 emissions could spell disaster for the oceans.

Increased CO2 emissions could spell disaster for the oceans.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Nearly 30% of the carbon dioxide produced since 1750 has been absorbed by the ocean.  As CO2 is slightly acidic it is changing the chemistry of the water and making it more acidic.  This is disastrous for those organisms that use calcium or argonite to build shells or to construct colonies.

Dr. Turley stated:

The ocean is at the frontline of climate change with its physics and chemistry being altered at an unprecedented rate so much so that ecosystems and organisms are already changing and will continue to do so as we emit more CO2.  The ocean provides us with food, energy, minerals, drugs and half the oxygen in the atmosphere, and it regulates our climate and weather.  We are asking policy makers to recognise the potential consequences of these dramatic changes and raise the profile of the ocean in international talks where, up to now, it has barely got a mention.”

Recently, Everything Dinosaur reported on the research conducted by scientists at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, the University of California, Stanford University, Princeton University and the University of Florida that concluded that our planet was entering a sixth, global mass extinction phase.

To read more about this research: Study Suggests Sixth Mass Extinction Event in Earth’s History

1 07, 2015

Summer Term Draws to a Close

By | July 1st, 2015|Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

More Dinosaur Workshops Prior to the End of the Summer Term

There may be a little under three weeks or so to go before the end of the summer term, but Everything Dinosaur team members are still working hard preparing for the dinosaur workshops that they have planned between now and the end of the school year.  Team members will be travelling to Greater Manchester, Derbyshire, Lancashire and into Yorkshire as well as the West Midlands as they strive to complete their assignments.  The focus will be on exploring fossils and dinosaurs in a kinaesthetic way, with lots of tactile fossil handling experiments and other activities, all designed to meet the learning needs of the classes.

As with all our work in schools, we will be keen to support literacy and numeracy initiatives with lots of extension ideas and supplementary teaching materials that we can email over to teachers to help them with their schemes of work.

Dinosaurs Encouraging Children with Writing

Lots of examples of transcription and composition.

Lots of examples of transcription and composition.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Already this week, Everything Dinosaur team members have supplied primary schools with resources to help measure different types of dinosaur (a novel use of toilet paper, even if we say so ourselves).  In addition, we have replied to the many thank you letters we have received.  These letters have been sent to our offices as part of an agreed extension activity with a number of schools whereby we help to encourage the children to practice punctuation and sentence construction.  It’s all part of a day’s work for our dedicated teachers and dinosaur experts.

With the end of the school year drawing near, the pressure is on when it comes to replying to the questions that we have had emailed into us.  All these need to be answered in super quick time to help the teaching teams complete their term topics.  Naturally, we strive to respond to all the questions we get sent as rapidly as possible, we know just how keenly anticipated our replies are.

To contact Everything Dinosaur to request further information about our dinosaur workshops in schools: Contact Everything Dinosaur

Over the summer, we hope to get out into the field to do some more work on fossil excavations as well as exploring a couple of new potential dig sites.  On top of all this, we have also got plans to add further free downloads to our “dinosaurs for schools” website.   Looks like it is going to be a very busy few weeks.

To visit Everything Dinosaur’s specialist “dinosaurs for schools”website: Dinosaurs for Schools Website

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