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A Publication of the American Geological Institute
About the Cover
A lava bubble bursts as it comes in contact with sea water at Kupapau Point, Kalapana, Hawaii (1989). Courtesy of J.D. Griggs, Hawaii Volcano Observatory, USGS

From the Editor

by Victor van Beuren

Political Scene

by David Applegate 

Senators Debate Response to Oil Crisis

People & Places

News Notes

by Kristina Bartlett and Devra Wexler

Sunken ship (Blackbeard’s?) aids science
Yucca Mountain still a go
Russia’s troubled waters
Earth Science Week ’99 kicks off
Stalagmites reveal past climate


The Day the Sea Stood Still
Nearly 10 years ago, researchers studying the Antarctic sea floor discovered evidence that global atmospheric and ocean temperatures spiked abruptly about 55 million years ago. The long-term explanation for the dramatic climate change, called the Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum, is still unclear, but the LPTM’s impact on Earth was unmistakable: Much of the planet’s deep-sea marine life vanished. Did some catastrophe —
perhaps a volcano — trigger these events or were they simply the result of 5 million years of global warming? Conclusion of a two-part series.
by Tom Yulsman

Doctor Koch’s Horrendous Hydrarchos
It was a great age of hyperbole — the 19th century— and Albert Koch was just the man for the times. Let others scour for gold, he would stake his fortune on the mighty mastodons of eras past. And when he found them, off he went to display his prizes at backwater road shows and in big-city exhibitions across two continents. Citizens were dazzled, real scientists were bedeviled, but the bones sold big and “Doctor” Koch went right on digging. Two of today’s real scientists take us on a journey from Saxony to St. Louis and from Alabama to the British Museum.
by Robert H. Dott Jr. and William M. Jordan

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