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Climate Change Over the Last 200 Years.docx

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McMaster University
Life Sciences
Luc Bernier

Climate Change Over the Last 200 Years Climate Proxies: - Climate archives that contain many indicators of past climate - Climate signals from these indicators is not direct, like reading temperature form a thermometer o e.g.: changes in ice sheet δ O18 Records of Recent Climate Change: - We can look at trees rings o Thicker bands respond to warmer climates, thinner is associated with winter - The position of CaCO3 in corals, how much of it is present o Light corresponds to the summer season and darker bands are associated with the winter season - Ice cores: o Each of the layers represents a different year  Darker bands correspond to dust, which is carried by wind  Volcanic eruptions can be easily seen (dark bands) - Sediments: o Season changes based on thickness and colouration (light and dark)  Dark bands are associated with organic material that has not yet been decomposed (little amount of O2)  Light is associated with organic material that has been decomposed (large amount of O2) - Biotic Proxies: - Pollen: o Can look at the shifts in vegetation that have occurred over that periods of time and see if that type of pollen is associated with warm or cold climate s - Plankton: o Different plankton exist in different temperatures (warm vs. cold) Climate in the Northern Hemisphere: - Shows the range of the annual temperatures o There is a wide range in temperature  Yet the recent temperatures have all been on the rise The Little Ice Age: - Medieval warm period - A relative warm period in Europe and north Atlantic - Based on scattered evidence and historical records o There was no sea ice around Greenland, it was very easy to navigate the artic (time that t
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