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paleoclimate

The climate of a particular period in the geological past, before historical records or instrumental observations. Palaeoclimatology uses evidence from glaciers and ice sheets, geology, ...

Paleoclimate

Paleoclimate   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Global Change

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Science and technology, Environmental Science, Social sciences, Environment
Length:
4,877 words
Illustration(s):
5

... The climate of the world has been ever changing. It is invariable only in its variability. It has changed repeatedly and substantially throughout geologic time and both before and during the presence of humans on the face of the Earth. Changes have ranged from the essentially minor fluctuations within the period of instrumental record (with durations in the case of events like the Sahel drought since the mid-1960s, on the order of a decade or decades) to those of the most significant geologic periods, with durations of many millions of years. For...

Paleoclimate

Paleoclimate   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Global Change

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Science and technology, Environmental Science, Social sciences, Environment
Length:
3,725 words
Illustration(s):
4

... The climate of the world has changed repeatedly and substantially throughout geological time, before and during the presence of humans on the face of the Earth. Changes have ranged from the minor fluctuations within the period of instrumental record—with a duration of the order of a decade or decades in events such as the Sahel drought beginning in the mid-1960s—to those with durations of many millions of years (Table 1). For example, over the last billion years there have been at least 6 major ice ages when ice caps have covered substantial parts of...

paleoclimate

paleoclimate noun   Quick reference

New Oxford American Dictionary (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
59 words
paleoclimate

paleoclimate  

The climate of a particular period in the geological past, before historical records or instrumental observations. Palaeoclimatology uses evidence from glaciers and ice sheets, geology, sediments, ...
Paleoclimates

Paleoclimates   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Science and technology, Earth Sciences and Geography, Social sciences, Environment
Length:
2,473 words
Illustration(s):
2

... Paleoclimates are climates or climatic conditions during specific periods of the history of the earth (“paleo” is derived from the Greek word for “old”). Paleoclimatologists use proxy evidence to reconstruct past climatic conditions. Proxy indicators are found both on land and in the sea, and they may represent biological, chemical, or geological evidence of climate variability. Objectives. The documentation and study of paleoclimates provides information about properties of the Earth's climate, including its natural range of variability, its...

sand ramp

sand ramp  

A sloping accretion of aeolian or fluvial material, sometimes including palaeosols, up- or downwind of an obstacle. Sand ramps can provide evidence of palaeoclimates; see Thomas (1997) Quat. Res. 48, ...
Antarctic Ice Sheet

Antarctic Ice Sheet  

The Antarctic ice sheet is the world's largest ice mass, with an area of 13.83 million square kilometers; it constitutes 90 percent of the total volume of ice and 70 ...
Cores

Cores  

Land and marine sediments and continental ice sheets can be drilled mechanically to obtain cores containing geological evidence of past climates. The materials examined from within the cored ...
Earth Motions

Earth Motions  

The motions of Earth, particularly with respect to the Sun, are a fundamental control of many of the environmental changes that have taken place through geologic time. The Earth rotates ...
Geology and Weather

Geology and Weather  

The surface of the Earth, including the geology and topography of the planet, is influenced profoundly by weather and its effects. Weathering can be described as the breakdown or other ...
Climate Reconstruction

Climate Reconstruction  

Our knowledge of climate history prior to the availability of instrumental records comes from two main sources: (1) historical observations, where information on past climatic conditions is contained ...
Models and Modeling

Models and Modeling  

Models of weather and climate range from rather simple to very complex. The simplest are conceptual or qualitative models that merely try to sort out the mechanisms involved in an ...
climatology

climatology  

The study of the origins and impacts of climates.
dating methods

dating methods  

During the last century geologists constructed a relative time-scale based on correlation of palaeontological and stratigraphic data. Depositional rates of sediments have also been employed as a ...
energetics

energetics  

The study of how energy is transferred and used in a system, such as an ecosystem.
biogeography

biogeography  

The study of the geographical distribution of plants and animals at different taxonomic levels, past and present, the habitats in which they occur, and the ecological relationships involved.
Arctic

Arctic  

The area lying above 66.5° North that is dominated by the Arctic Ocean but also includes large land areas in Canada, Russia, Greenland, Scandinavia, Iceland, and Alaska. Some of the land areas, ...
atmospheric structure

atmospheric structure  

The broadly horizontal layering of the atmosphere, the layers being distinguished by differences in the rate of change of temperature with height, which either favour or discourage the development of ...
glacier

glacier  

A mass of ice which may be moving, or has moved, overland: when enough ice has accumulated, a glacier will start to move forwards. A glacier may be seen to be the result of a balance between ...
Little Ice Age

Little Ice Age  

A period between about 1550 and 1860 during which the climate of the middle latitudes became generally harsher and there was a world-wide expansion of glaciers. The effects have been recorded in the ...

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