Goals and Learning Outcomes
On completing this module, students are expected to be able to:
- explain how sediments, ice cores, and tree rings record geological time;
- explain how proxy information on past climates is extracted from geological materials;
- infer the nature of climate change from proxy records;
- consider how ancient events can inform us of changes to come in the future.
After completing this module, students should be able to answer the following questions (hint: each of these topics is the subject of one quiz question!):
- In what materials is evidence of ancient geologic environment recorded?
- What is the "Hockey Stick"?
- What gases do ice bubbles contain?
- What is a piston corer?
- What are the processes that fractionate oxygen and carbon isotopes?
- What are the other proxies for temperature?
- How do tree rings record climate?
- What are foraminifera?
- What are the characteristics of leaves from tropical environments?
- What is moraine?
- What are the changes that occurred during glacial-interglacial cycles?
- How was the PETM initiated and what happened during the event?
- What was the impact of global warming during the PETM on life?