Topic_6____Climate_Change_I

Topic_6____Climate_Change_I - Topic 6: Climate Change...

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Topic 6: Climate Change through Time I: Time Scales Part 1 – Principles and approaches to the problem A. Why bother studying ancient climate? Who cares what happened a long time ago? 1. Past variability can show climatic extremes not experienced during recorded history 2. In order to understand the effects of human activity on climate, we must establish what the planet, atmosphere, and climate change was like before human perturbations 3. Constructing and interpreting long-term records of climate are the only means to determine how periodic climate change is (all in all, we are just a blip) 4. Past is prolouge B. Factors influencing climate change and their time scales 1. Greenhouse gases: have their concentrations changed over time? 2. Plate tectonics: Outgassing and weathering 3. Solar energy 4. Changes in the Earth’s orbit 5. Ocean-atmosphere interactions C. Geologic Records of Environmental Change
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1. fossils (e.g., foraminifera – one-celled marine organisms made of calcite;
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This note was uploaded on 09/02/2009 for the course GEO 302C taught by Professor Yang during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Topic_6____Climate_Change_I - Topic 6: Climate Change...

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