(Roughly) Daily

Bye bye…

From Annalee Newitz at io9, “A History of Mass Extinctions on Earth.”

click on the image above, or here, for an enlarged version

As Annalee suggests,

It’s hard to decide whether this is a pessimistic chart or an optimistic one. Life always manages to find a way, even when there is a serious destruction of the planet.

To that point, note that the line graph in the middle charts “body counts”– how many species survived, which in some cases is nearly zero.

As we get in touch with our inner cockroach, we might wish Alles Gute zum Geburtstag to Austrian/German climate research pioneer Eduard Brückner; he was born on this date in 1862.  By analyzing direct and indirect observations of climatic fluctuations, he discovered (1887) the 35-year Brückner climatic cycle of swings between damp-cold and warm-dry conditions.  He considered the impact of climate change on the balance of power between nations and its economic significance in agricultural productivity, emigration, river transportation and the spreading of diseases. And perhaps most relevantly to the issues we face today, he initiated scientific debate on whether climate change should be interpreted as a natural function of the Earth system, or whether it was influenced by man’s activities (e.g., in his time, deforestation).

Brückner (source)

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