Digging Into Past Climate
How awesome would it be to go back in time? Many climate scientists actually get to do that every day with their research. Ok, so maybe they aren't traveling in a DeLorean or anything, but scientists that study paleoclimate have a window looking into the Earth's past. Studying snippets of history such as soil samples, Arctic ice cores, or old tree rings, scientists can learn about what climate was like on the planet hundreds, thousands, or even millions of years ago. Results from paleoclimate research have been important in helping scientists highlight how rapidly conditions on Earth are changing now, and in some cases scientists have studied specific examples of how humans fared when faced with dramatic periods of climate change in the past.
In this episode of the Climopedia podcast, we talk with two scientists who have researched past climate change. Climate Central's very own Heidi Cullen shares a story about one ancient civilization's experience with climate change and what it can tell us about preparing for future global warming. In a segment produced by OnEarth Magazine, Jaime Bedrin interviews preeminent climate scientist Lonnie Thompson from Ohio State University. Thompson has spent much of his career on the world's highest glaciers, learning about past climate from ice cores. Thompson was featured in OnEarth's Winter 2011 cover story that highlighted Peru's vulnerability to climate change.