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Global warming: Are oceans headed for a dead zone?

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Jurassic-era fossils are offering new climate clues.

Early Jurassic warming nearly wiped out all marine life

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Careful analysis of the marine fossil record from the Early Jurassic era (about 180 million years ago), suggests that warmer global temperatures and lower oxygen levels led to dramatic ecosystem changes, with a near extinction of ocean life.

Those ecosystems later rebouned, but with a completely different species composition, according to Plymouth University (UK) scientists who studied ocean sediments along the North Yorkshire coast.

“Our study of fossil marine ecosystems shows that if global warming is severe enough and lasts long enough it may cause the extinction of marine life, which irreversibly changes the composition of marine ecosystems,” said researchers Richard Twitchett. Continue reading

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Colorado: Dinosaur Nat’l Monument gets new visitor center

A new visitor center at Dinosaur National Monument will open to the public Oct. 4. PHOTO COURTESY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to visit Sept. 28 for ribbon-cutting

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will visit Dinosaur National Monument this week to cut the ribbon on a new visitor center that will open to the public a week later. The public is invited to the event, set for 10 a.m.

The original visitor center, built in the 1950s, was closed in 2006 because of structural damage. Attempts had been made to stabilize the building over the decades, but health and safety concerns led the Park Service to close it for repair and reconstruction. Continue reading

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