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Island Research Provides Glimpse of Past Global Warming

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Date: January 5, 2007
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

Geologist Daniel Muhs will be the guest speaker for the January “From Shore to Sea” lecture. Muhs will share evidence from the Channel Islands about the last period of global warming that occurred about 125,000 years ago. This remarkable warm period has received much attention lately due to the information it may yield about future warming.

We are currently in an interglacial period that started about 10,000 years ago at the close of the most recent “Ice Age,” or glacial period. Prior to this glacial period, there was a warm interglacial period lasting 15,000 years or more. During his presentation Muhs will share evidence of this period collected from marine deposits on the Channel Islands, Hawaii, Bermuda, and the Florida Keys. Muhs will discuss the characteristics of this previous warm period and explain global implications should similar conditions develop again.

Muhs received B.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of Illinois and earned a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Colorado. Since 1983 he has worked as a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado. His research interests include sea level history, eolian geomorphology, soil science, paleoclimatology, geochronology, and stratigraphy. He has recently begun work on a book about the geology of the Channel Islands.

The “From Shore to Sea” lecture series is jointly sponsored by Channel Islands National Park, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and Santa Barbara Maritime Museum in an effort to further the understanding of research on the Channel Islands and surrounding waters. The lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 9, 2007, at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum at 113 Harbor Way in Santa Barbara and Wednesday, January 10, 2007, at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center located at 1901 Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor. The programs are free and open to the public.

Did You Know?

Brown pelican on nest

The Channel Islands are home to the largest breeding colonies of seabirds in southern California.