Rethinking Cretaceous Climate
Dr. William W. Hay
Professor Emeritus, Geological Sciences University of Colorado
7:00PM Tuesday, November 29th
Battleford Room, Delta Bessborough Hotel
New data and ideas are changing our view of warm climate conditions during the Cretaceous. Revisions of plate tectonic motions in the Pacific region indicate that the paleotopography was lower than previously thought. Lower topographic slopes in the new plate-tectonic reconstructions indicate that much more of the land surface was covered by rivers, lakes and bogs than has previously been thought. Increased water surfaces resulted in higher concentration of greenhouse gases and water vapor, causing a higher planetary temperature.
Increases in positive oxygen isotope values recorded in oceanic plankton, suggest the cause of shorter term Cretaceous sea-level changes on the order of 30 to 50 meters is likely due to fluctuations of groundwater reservoirs and lakes, rather than ice sheet influences. Very warm tropical ocean temperatures (possibly > 40°C) would have had major implications for the nature of terrestrial plant life generally limited to temperatures below 28°C.Thus, a major rethinking of the nature of conditions on a warmer Earth is both needed and underway.
William W. Hay is a noted geologist, marine geologist, micropaleontologist, paleoceanographer, and paleoclimatologist. Hay has studied at universities in Germany, Switzerland and the US, receiving his Ph.D. in Geology at Stanford University in 1960. Between 1960–1998, Hay held professorships at various American universities as well as the title of visiting professor at GEOMAR–a famous marine geological institute in Kiel, Germany–from 1990–1998. He retired from the University of Colorado in 1998 to take on the role of Professor of Paleoceanography full time at GEOMAR, retiring in June 2002. Currently, he is Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado, and lives in Estes Park, Colorado.
During his career, Hay served on numerous advisory panels and boards, and received many special honours and awards. His current special interests include global paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic modeling; paleoclimate; plate tectonic reconstructions; and the carbon cycle.
Hay is the author of a popular book entitled “Experimenting on a Small Planet - A Scholarly Entertainment”, which was published in 2013. It is an in-depth discussion of past and future climate change.
Join us for an evening of new thinking on Cretaceous Climate on November 29th, 2016 at 7:00pm at the Delta Bessborough Hotel. Admission is FREE!