Unit 4: Paleoclimatology

How do scientiest know what the Earths climate was like thousands or even millions of years ago?  The answer is Paleoclimatology, the study of tree rings, ice cores, lake and sea cores, speleothems (stalactite or stalagmite), and even packrat middens (a kind of nest) area all used to understand the history of the Earth and it's climate. I remember taking a class in Paleoclimatology at the University of Denver, my professor specialized in researching pollen from lake cores from Turkey.  The result of this study is a record of Earths past climate reaching back hundreds of thousands of years.  Data sets gathered through Paleoclimatology have created the ability to to run climate computer models against the Earths past climate.  Paleoclimatology gives climate scientists tools to measure and compare past climate change to the changes we are dealing with today.  The climate changes we are going through currently are unprecedented in the record of Earths climate.  

 

RESOURCES:

What is paleoclimatology? Source National Climatic Data Center: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/what-paleoclimatology

Lean in depth about paleoclimatology Source: USGS United States Geographic Society: https://www2.usgs.gov/landresources/lcs/paleoclimate/

 

Today’s CO2 emissions similar to mass extinction 200 million year ago, Newsweek: https://www.newsweek.com/volcano-co2-mass-extinction-triassic-21st-century-1496629?utm_source=GoogleNewsstandTech&utm_medium=Feed&ut%E2%80%A6

 

CLASS ACTIVITES:

Lesson Plan on ice cores from Stanford Earth: https://earth.stanford.edu/climate-change-ed/curriculum/high/impacts-physical-systems