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Intrepid Science
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There's still so much to discover about our planet. Join Professor Chris Turney and his Intrepid Science team as they explore the world.
There's still so much to discover about our planet. Join Professor Chris Turney and his Intrepid Science team as they explore the world.

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Beautiful halo around the Moon tonight over Wollongong!
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Have humans become a geological superpower? Searching for global human impact using the loneliest tree in the world (clue: it's in the Southern Ocean!).

You can listen to my Friday interview on the ABC's Radio National's Blueprint for Living show at http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/blueprintforliving/the-worlds-loneliest-tree/9690562. Hope you enjoy it!
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Had a fascinating interview on +ABC Australia Radio National Blueprint for Living. We discussed our latest research from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH): defining the start of a new human-dominated geological epoch, the #Anthropocene. There’s increasing evidence that humans are the new geological superpower. I’ll post the link as soon as it’s available. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more you can read our Conversation article at https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/theconversation.com/amp/anthropocene-began-in-1965-according-to-signs-left-in-the-worlds-loneliest-tree-91993
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In 2019, a British team is heading south to search for the wreck of the Endurance, Sir Ernest Shackleton's famous ship lost to the crushing pressure of pack ice in the Weddell Sea back in 1915. As a result, Shackleton and his men found themselves stuck in the ice for two years. A thousand kilometres from civilisation, they faced isolation, starvation, freezing temperatures, gangrene, wandering icebergs and the threat of cannibalism. But by sheer positive attitude and superb leadership, the Anglo-Irishman kept his team together and returned everyone home. No matter how bad conditions became, Shackleton didn't lose a single life. And they even found time to do science! Discovering the final resting place of the Endurance would complete an extraordinary journey.

If you want to learn more, check out https://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/History/Shackleton-Endurance-Trans-Antarctic_expedition2.php

#Shackleton #Endurance

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The collapsed polar vortex continues to bring freezing easterly air over Northern Europe. The photos here are from tonight on the Heiliger See in the German city of Potsdam: it's certainly brought out the ice skaters! Perversely these more frigid conditions are associated with several degrees of warming over the North Pole. If you want to learn more about the science of what's happening, research by Marlene Kretschmer and colleagues provides an excellent explanation: https://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/winter-cold-extremes-linked-to-high-altitude-polar-vortex-weakening +UNSW Sydney
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Spent a fantastic week at the GFZ in Potsdam learning how the latest findings in #geoscience can help a growing human population. The expertise is huge. The team work on volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, climate change and energy production to name but a few areas of research. It’s a dizzying portfolio. And to top it all, the GFZ-Potsdam are based at one of the world’s great scientific parks: the Telegrafenberg. The site is a treasure trove of historic discoveries, including the Dali-like #Einstein Tower built for the great man to test his relativity theory. It’s an inspiring place to visit and work. +UNSW Sydney
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Visiting London and saw this plaque commemorating 200 years of the Geological Society of London, the oldest Earth science society in the world! Even after all this time we still have so much to learn about how our planet works. Here's to the next 200 years! #geology #earthscience #sciencecommunication #outreach +UNSW Sydney
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The world’s oldest calendar. After 5000 years, #Stonehenge still takes your breath away. Awe inspiring science. #palaeoscience #paleoscience #worldheritage
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Anthropocene began in 1965, according to signs left in the world’s ‘loneliest tree’

On Campbell Island in the Southern Ocean, some 400 miles south of New Zealand, is a single Sitka spruce. More than 170 miles from any other tree, it is often credited as the “world’s loneliest tree”. Planted in the early 20th century by Lord Ranfurly, governor of New Zealand, the tree’s wood has recorded the radiocarbon produced by above ground atomic bomb tests – and its annual layers show a peak in 1965, just after the tests were banned. The tree therefore gives us a potential marker for the start of the Anthropocene, marking the time when humans really became a geological superpower.

You can read our paper ‘Global Peak in Atmospheric Radiocarbon Provides a Potential Definition for the Onset of the Anthropocene Epoch in 1965’ in Scientific Reports at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-20970-5

Photo kindly provided by Pavla Fenwick.

#worldsloneliesttree #alienspecies #DOC +UNSW Sydney #DOC #CampbellIsland #SouthernOcean #Sitkaspruce #ChristmasTree #bombpeak #Anthropocene #worldheritage #SouthernOcean #spiritofmawson #AAE #AustralasianAntarcticExpedition
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Anthropocene began in 1965, according to signs left in the world's 'loneliest tree' Pavla Fenwick , Author provided Chris Turney , UNSW ; Jonathan Palmer , UNSW , and Mark Maslin , UCL On Campbell Island in the Southern Ocean, some 400 miles south of New Ze...
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