“Trees and Late Paleozoic O2, CO2, Climate and Evolution” will be the topic of a presentation by Robert Berner on Oct. 12, at 4 p.m. in Konover Auditorium.
Berner, the Alan M. Bateman Professor of Geology and Geophysics at Yale University, will describe the co-evolution of climate and life that occurred 400 to 300 million years ago, during the rise of large vascular plants.
“The rise of large vascular land plants brought about a major increase in the rates of weathering of silicate minerals that induced a drop, during the mid-to-late Paleozoic (400-300 million years ago), in the level of atmospheric CO2,” says Berner. “This contributed, via the atmospheric greenhouse effect, to global cooling and the initiation of the most long-lived and extensive glaciation of the past 550 million years.”
He says sedimentary burial of the microbiologically resistant remains of the plants resulted in both further lowering of CO2 and in elevation of atmospheric O2.
“Co-evolution of climate and life apparently occurred in tandem with changes in atmospheric CO2 and O2,” Berner says.
Among Berner’s honors are the Arthur L. Day Medal of the Geological Society of America; Canada’s Huntsman Medal in Oceanography; the Goldschmidt Medal of the Geochemical Society; and the Murchison Medal of the Geological Society of London. He earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University.
The talk is part of this year’s Edwin Way Teale Lecture Series.
Judith Warner, New York Times best-selling author of Perfect Madness: Motherhood In The Age Of Anxiety, will read from her book and sign copies in Konover Auditorium on Oct. 17 at 4 p.m.
Warner began her career in journalism in the New York Times training program and has written for The Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe and the Village Voice.
For six years she lived in Paris, where she covered French and Belgian politics and society for Newsweek.
Her books include the political biography Hillary Clinton: The Inside Story.
She also co-authored Nancy Reagan’s bestselling book of love letters I Love You, Ronnie, and You Have The Power: How To Take Back Our Country And Restore Democracy In America with Howard Dean, and ghostwrote Grace Mirabella’s memoir In and Out of Vogue (a New York Times Notable Book) as well as Air Force Pilot Kelly Flinn’s 1997 memoir, Proud to Be.