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The Azolla story: How an amazing plant changed our climate 50 million years ago

Published
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

The first day of the 3P Arctic Conference & Exhibition is 29 September. Erik Lundin, of Statoil, will welcome attendees and introduce three speakers for the opening and plenary session. Jonathan Bujak, Bujak Research International, will be joined by Geir Richardson, Statoil, Bernard Coakley, Univeristy of Alaska.

Dr. Bujak talk is entitled “The Azolla story: How an amazing plant changed our climate 50 million years ago”.

Dr. Jonathan Bujak has more than 40 years of experience studying modern and fossil pollen, spores and dinoflagellates (palynomorphs) within a geological, oceanographic and climatic context. During the 1970s and 1980s, he was a research scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada’s Atlantic Geoscience Centre whose mandate was to determine the geological and oceanographic history of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

His work took him to the UK from 1990 to the present, when he studied hundreds of wells and sections from the northeast Atlantic region. Dr. Bujak was involved with the only two expeditions to core sediments beneath the North Pole – the 1979 shallow Lomonosov Ridge Expedition (LOREX) and the 2004 Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX), which discovered the Eocene ‘Arctic Azolla Event’. This remarkable event triggered the initial shift away from a greenhouse climate towards our modern icehouse world, and was featured in his June 2014 article in the Geological Society of London’s, Geoscientist.

Dr. Bujak has more than 100 publications and abstracts, many on the circum North Atlantic including onshore northwest European stratotypes. He is also in demand for radio, television and magazine interviews about his work – most recently, in July 2014, for BBC Radio 4’s ‘Inside Science’ and Washington’s ‘Climate Science’ which was reprinted in Scientific American. Jonathan is now writing a book, The Azolla Story, about the Arctic Azolla Event and the plant’s potential to help reduce today’s climate change and provide local renewable biofertilizer, livestock feed and food.

Learn more about the 3P Arctic Conference & Exhibition.

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