Skidaway Institute lecture to focus on climate change and origins of life

Approximately 3.6 billion years ago, the Earth faced its greatest pollution crisis ever, and it changed the way life developed on our planet.

Marc Frischer

Marc Frischer

Skidaway Institute of Oceanography professor Marc Frischer will discuss that pollution crisis and the origins of life on Earth in the next program of Skidaway Institute’s spring lecture series “Living with the Ocean.” The lecture program will be presented twice, on Monday, March 30, at the Coastal Georgia Center on Fahm Street in downtown Savannah and again on Thursday, April 2, in the library auditorium at Skidaway Institute. Both programs will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

Frischer will be joined in the two-speaker program, titled “The Oceans Drive the Earth,” by Skidaway Institute professor Stuart Wakeham. He will focus the interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere, and the ocean’s major role in global climate change.

That primordial pollution crisis was caused by the evolution of microbial life. The so-called pollution was oxygen derived from the microbial invention of photosynthesis.

“Oxygen, the end product of oxygenic photosynthesis, was toxic to most of the planet’s earliest life,” said Frischer. “However, life adapted, and the presence of oxygen lead to the evolution of most of the life that is familiar to us now and is now essential to modern life, including us.”

Frischer’s talk will take the audience on a journey from the formation of Earth through the evolution of life in the oceans and the transformation of the planet to what we know today. Along the way the audience will learn about the diversity of life and the important role played by microbes in the ocean and other planetary ecosystems.

Stuart Wakeham

Stuart Wakeham

Wakeham’s lecture will touch on one of the most talked-about topics of today – global climate change. He will discuss how the interactions between the ocean and atmosphere strongly influence the global climate.

“Ocean sediments contain a record of global change in the past,” Wakeham said. “Understanding how the ocean has affected climate in the past and how its present-day changes affect the ocean are important for our ability to predict the state of the earth in the future.”

The next programs in the series will be:

“Living Near the Ocean”

Monday, April 20, Coastal Georgia Center

Thursday, April 23, Skidaway Institute

“Planet Earth in the 21st Century”

Monday, May 11, Coastal Georgia Center

Thursday, May 14, Skidaway Institute

All programs will begin at 7 p.m.

For additional information, call Michael Sullivan at (912) 598-2325 or visit the Skidaway Institute Web site at www.skio.usg.edu.

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One Response to “Skidaway Institute lecture to focus on climate change and origins of life”

  1. Summer Teal Simpson Says:

    I’ve been hearing great things off the street about your lecture series. Looking forward to making it to one of the programs myself!

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