Paleoclimate Proxies (OCN/ATMS/ESS 554)


3 credits


Location: OCN 425

Schedule: T/Th 2:30-3:50

Department: Program on Climate Change

Quarter: Winter

Climate proxies are sources of climate information from natural archives such as sediment cores, ice cores, corals, and tree rings. Because the instrumental record of climate is short, spanning the last few decades in most places, the geologic record is the only source of climate data for evaluating natural variability on decadal-to-centennial (and longer) time scales. An enormous variety of paleoclimate indicators are in use. Some provide quantitative information on a specific climate variable, such as sea surface temperature. Many others provide qualitative information on one or more variables. The goal of this course is to critically evaluate the robustness and limitations of the most commonly applied climate proxies from the ocean, land and ice sheets. The 3-credit class will consist of lectures and discussions.