Geosciences Ph.D. candidate Adam Hudson, of the University of Arizona, digs up shells for radiocarbon dating from a dried out lake in Oregon. The dating will help reconstruct periods of glaciation when water filled the lake.
With the Earth in a warming climate at stake, preparing for the future means understanding the past. That’s where paleoclimate scientists come in. Paleoclimatology is the study of ancient climates. Climatologists such as Aaron Putnam explain that 800,000 years of climate records locked in the Earth’s ice show that greenhouse gas levels are far higher now than during the natural climate shifts over all that time.
Top climate scientists assessed the impact of melting glaciers, rising sea levels and lakes turning into deserts at this year's Comer Abrupt Climate Change Conference in Wisconsin. From rapid warming potentially linked to a comet striking the Earth some 55 million years ago to the Little Ice Age aiding the Mongol invasion of Eurasia, climate impacts past and present highlighted research findings from across the world. But rising fossil fuel emissions in our era are escalating global warming, scientists stated.
In a period of less than 100 years, the Mongol Empire spread across Eurasia and encompassed the greatest contiguous land empire in history under the great Khan dynasty. Historians generally attribute rising power and domination to leadership and military strategy. But, some climate scientists credit the Little Ice Age for the Mongol expansion and take a new look at the impact climate can deliver on the rise and fall of civilization.
Climate change critics are pointing to a 15-year period of stable global temperatures to suggest that global warming has stopped. Global temperatures showed a continuous rise since 1975 before the respite set in. But climate change hasn't halted. Scientists at the Comer Conference countered that oceans are temporarily absorbing heat and masking global warming.
Icebergs the size of Manhattan’s Central Park break off of Greenland’s glaciers and trigger earhthquakes that are detected from seismic waves thousands of miles away. These glacial earthquakes aren't knocking down any buildings but they are contributing to the collapse of the glaciers. And that adds to rising global sea levels, Meredith Nettles told top climate scientists gathered at the annual Comer Abrupt Climate Change Conference in Wisconsin.
Wallace Broecker works at the forefront of climate science, an elder statesman of global research at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He grew up in Oak Park, earned his Ph.D. in the 1950s at Columbia and won fame in his field of geoscience. He coined the phrase global warming in the 1970s and discovered the global conveyor belt of the oceans.
Climate scientists are confirming the latest United Nations assessment of rising sea levels, shrinking glaciers and intensifying heat waves due to human activities locking ever more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Researchers revealing clues to climate change in the outer stretches of the planet canceled trips and put theses and dissertations on hold as they waited for the government to reopen. The government’s turn-around means a rebound for much of the research but also lingering delays.