Ireland day 0848. Wednesday 24 January 2024- CEO and PETM *

Ireland day 0848. Wednesday 24 January 2024- CEO and PETM
Today’s summary Val had her second day at Newbridge and I spent the day in the office having a very long and interesting meeting with the CEO.   After work I drove up to Newbridge to pick up Val then in the evening she went off to a work dinner and I watched a lecture on the Palaeo-Eocene Thermal Maximum at Trinity College via Zoom.
Today’s weather Occasional brief light showers but mainly quite dry with some sun.   Light south westerly wind.   Appx 8c.
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The blue line shows where we walked)
(No GPX today)

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

A lot of acronyms today!

Val had another day over at Newbridge but because I had to get to work early, she made her own way there by train and bike.   The reason why I had to be in work early was that I had a 30 minute meeting scheduled with our CEO at 10:00 and I wanted to get some materials ready first.

In the end the meeting lasted two and a half hours – five times longer than planned – and I felt pretty well tested by the end of it.   We discussed the paper and the presentation I’ve been pulling together over the last couple of weeks, and it seems like there is still a bit of work left to be done to pull it into shape.   But generally heading in the right direction, I hope.

After a working lunch with colleagues and a bit more research in the afternoon, I left at 4pm to go up and collect Val from Newbridge.   It’s actually quicker to get to Newbridge than it is to get to Malahide, even though it’s further away.   So it’s really no trouble to pick her up on the way back to the flat.

In the evening, Val went out for a work dinner and I had a delicious Kerrigans’ meat pie for my main meal.   Then I spent a very interesting 90 minutes watching (via Zoom) an absolutely fascinating lecture by Gerry Dickens on the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).   It’s a period of very rapid global warming and CO2 increase that happened about 55.8 million years ago and it’s thought to be be a very good analogue for what’s happening now with man made global warming.   The main difference is that the PETM carbon emissions took place over about 10,000 years rather than 500, and nobody really knows where the carbon came from.   Meteorites, volcanoes and seabed methane have all been proposed but none is 100% convincing.

The dispiriting thing about the PETM is that it caused a massive (6 degree) global increase in temperatures and drastic changes in rainfall patterns.   Equatorial regions were so hot they were practically devoid of life.   But on the positive side, while some species disappeared as a result of the event, there weren’t mass extinctions and much of the flora and fauna survived by migrating north or south towards the poles.   Indeed it was at around this time that the first primates (i.e. our ancestors) first appeared.   The other positive thing was that after “only” 200,000 years, the climate seemingly returned to normal.

So there’s hope for us yet.

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Brilliantly clear skies as I headed into town to buy some milk earlier this evening Still a bit of light left in the sky this evening when I went shopping, but in the area of this clothes shop it’s completely drowned out by the brilliance of the “Sale” sign.   It’s retina-burning and definitely doesn’t make you want to go shopping there
The inexorable trend upwards – atmospheric CO2 is now almost 50% higher than it was in the 1960s and shows no signs of slowing down, despite all the talk at COP 28 etc The good news is that after the PETM, it looks like global CO2 and temperatures returned to normal after “only” about 200,000 years.    An impossibly long time on a human scale, but barely noticeable on a geological scale…
…the PETM is the tiny blue spike at the bottom of the graph – barely visible on this 15 million year geological scale of carbon and oxygen isotopic deviations in sediments – a proxy measure for global temperature
Interactive map

(No map today)

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