Geology Seminar Back to the Future

12:00 PM  - 1:00 PM
Thursday Nov 14, 2013
Room 175, Olin-Rice Science Center

A geology seminar titled "Back to the Future: Insights into Modern Climate Change from Studying Climates of the Past" will be presented by Dr. Kira Lawrence, Associate Professor, Department of Geology & Environmental Geosciences, Lafayette College, Easton, PA.

Is the climate change we are experiencing now part of a natural cycle or due to human activities? How do we know? What should we expect as Earth’s surface temperature rises? Why should we care? Much like historians use historical archives to contextualize modern events, as an Earth historian I use climate archives preserved in Earth’s geologic record to help understand and contextualize modern climate change. My work explores how and why Earth’s climate has changed through time by using the remnants of organisms preserved in ocean sediments to reconstruct past climate conditions. In particular, my research focuses on a past warm climate interval that has been used as an analog for future climate conditions. At that time, Greenland was nearly ice-free, the oceans were significantly warmer than today, and atmospheric carbon dioxide played a critical role in setting the global thermostat. My lecture will explain how I read the archive of past climate from the geologic record and how these data provide insight into what may be in store for the climate system in the future.

Lunch provided.

This event is for: Students

Admission: Free

Sponsored By: Geology

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