Apr 23, 2024  
Catalogue 2023-2024 
Catalogue 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ESCI 335 - Paleoclimatology: Earth’s History of Climate Change

1 unit(s)
(Same as ENST 335 ) In recent decades, record high temperatures and extreme weather events have led scientists and policy makers to grapple with the fact that human activities are affecting the climate system. At the same time, scientists have come to realize that climate is capable of dramatic shifts in the absence of human intervention. The science of paleoclimatology seeks to understand the extent and causes of natural climatic variability in order to establish the baseline on top of which anthropogenic changes are occurring. In this course we examine the structure and properties of the oceans and atmosphere and how the general circulation of these systems redistributes heat throughout the globe; study how cycles in Earth’s orbital parameters, plate tectonics, changes in ocean circulation, and the evolution of plants have affected climate; and explore the different lines of evidence used to reconstruct climate history. Weekly laboratory projects introduce students to paleoclimatic methods and to records of climatic change from the Paleozoic through the Little Ice Age. 

Prerequisite(s): 200-level work in Earth Science or permission of the instructor.

Recommended: Students who have taken BIOL 202 BIOL 208 BIOL 241  and/or BIOL 276  are particularly encouraged to speak to the instructor about adding the course.

One 4-hour classroom/laboratory/field period.

Not offered in 2023/24.

Course Format: INT

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