Climatechange - Geol 111 Global Climate Change I Paleoclimatology Richard Fifarek Park 307 MWF 8:30-9:30 T 1:00-2:00 [email protected] 453-7364

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1 Global Climate Change I: Paleoclimatology Geol 111 Richard Fifarek Park. 307 MWF 8:30-9:30 T 1:00-2:00 [email protected] 453-7364 Global Climate Change I: Paleoclimatology Geol 111 Outline Introduction: What, Why Paleoclimate Proxies Glaciers Ice Cores Ocean Sediment Cores (microfossils) Lake Sediment Cores (pollen) Tree Rings Why should we care about climate change ? • We may be witnessing one of the most profound climatic changes in the Earth's history. • Larger changes in global climate have occurred in the past, but over much longer time periods. • The danger facing society today is that anthropogenic (human produced) global warming may be too fast to allow humans, and other species, to adapt to its detrimental impacts. ht p:/ changingclimates.colostate.edu/Col oquium_files/03.Kel y.Paleoclimate.ppt Paleoclimatology • Is the study of climate prior to the widespread availability of records of temperature, precipitation and other instrumental data. • Useful in establishing the range of natural climatic variability prior to global-scale human influence. • We are particularly interested in the last few thousand years because this is the best dated and most sampled part of the ancient climatic record. • Examine climate change going back hundreds to millions of years using paleoclimate records derived from climate proxies (earth features sensitive to climate and preserved in the geologic record) . ht p:/ changingclimates.colostate.edu/Col oquium_files/03.Kel y.Paleoclimate.ppt Paleoclimate Methods of Study Proxy Data Glacial Ice Volume/Features Ice Cores -Stable Isotopes Ocean/Lake Sediments -B iogen ic ±Mater ia l - Terrigenous Matter - Pollen Analysis Terrestrial Sediments -G lac iers -So i ls Tree Rings ht p:/ changingclimates.colostate.edu/Col oquium_files/03.Kel y.Paleoclimate.ppt Timescales of Paleoclimate Studies •L o n g t e rm - Hundreds of millions of years •M e d i um t e - One million years • Short term – 1,000 to ~160,000 years • Modern period - Hundreds of years ht p:/ changingclimates.colostate.edu/Col oquium_files/03.Kel y.Paleoclimate.ppt
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2 Geologic or Deep Time 99.95% of Earth History ht p:/ changingclimates.colostate.edu/Col oquium_files/03.Kel y.Paleoclimate.ppt Proxy: Glaciers •G l a c i e r s –ice mass that moves over the land under its own weight •T y p e s o f G l a c i e r s - Ice Sheets (near poles) - Alpine glaciers (in mountain valleys) www.scienceclarified.com/Ga-He/Glacier.html Alpine Glacier, Muir Inlet, Alaska Antarctica Ice Sheet ht p:/ changingclimates.colostate.edu/Col oquium_files/03.Kel y.Paleoclimate.ppt Glaciers and Climate Factors Excellent indicator of global climate change • Global cooling – ice accumulates and glaciers enlarge and advance • Global warming – glaciers diminish and retreat • Thus, glaciers change in volume and leave behind features of their former presence in response to climate change ht p:/ changingclimates.colostate.edu/Col oquium_files/03.Kel y.Paleoclimate.ppt Longitudinal section of an Alpine Glacier (melting, breaking apart) terminus Cooling:
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course GEOL 111 taught by Professor Pinter during the Spring '08 term at SIU Carbondale.

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Climatechange - Geol 111 Global Climate Change I Paleoclimatology Richard Fifarek Park 307 MWF 8:30-9:30 T 1:00-2:00 [email protected] 453-7364

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