Bartrum Lecture 2017: The shape of the earth - a human perspective Event as iCalendar

(Science Event Tags, Environment)

19 October 2017

5 - 6pm

Venue: MLT3/303-101

Host: School of Environment

Processes deep within the earth are constantly changing its shape, and the ways people interact with it. This talk will explore new insights from observations of subtle changes in slowly evolving landscapes of Australia to dramatic changes in rapidly evolving landscapes across Asia.
Our understanding of the energetics of these landscapes provides a novel way for quantifying the role of man as geological agent, almost 100 years on from Robert Sherlock’s classic book by the same title published 1922. The talk will conclude by addressing the prophetic comments in the foreword of Sherlock’s book, arguing the need for a new conceptualisation of the services the crust provides human society. In the foreword to “Man as geological agent”, Arthur Woodward , then Keeper of Geology at the British Museum, writes, “Most interesting of all, perhaps, is thequestion whether man, by his prodigiouscombustion of coaland other carbonaceous products, is producing morecarbonic acid than can be eliminatedby ordinary natural processes. Ifthisproduction is excessive, the result eventuallymay be an unwelcome change in hisatmosphericsurroundings. Man has, indeed, learned to be cautious in altering the balance of nature in the world of plant and animal life. He may be approaching a stage when he should pause to consider whether his use and alteration of the crust of the earth itself are for future as well as present advantage”.

Following the presentation drinks and nibbles will be available at the Science Building 302, Level 6 breakout space 6-7pm