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Greenhouse gases, global warming, rising sea levels - understanding the Earth's climatic changes is one of today's most pressing international concerns. How fast has the climate changed? where and why is it changing? what is the impact of climate change on our ecosystems, coastal regions, glaciers, forests, lakes, and oceans? This introduction to the rapidly emerging field of palaeoclimatology explains the patterns and processes in the history of the Earth's climate to answer these essential questions. Using the geologic records of ocean and lake sediment, ice cores, corals, and other natural archives, this book describes the history of the Earth's climate - the ice age cycles, changes in atmosphere and solar radiation - and the resulting, sometimes catastrophic, biotic responses. These palaeoclimatic records provide a baseline against which we can compare modern climate trends. This work advances our understanding of how climate change occurs, how those changes are detected, and how the history of climate can suggest the climate of the future.
Thomas M. Cronin is an adjunct professor in the Department of Geography and Earth Systems Science at George Mason University in Virginia. He is also a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.
Columbia University Press
Date of Publication
Geography & Earth Science: Textbooks & Study Guides
The Critical Moments and Perspectives in Earth History and Paleobiology