Global Climate Change

Global climate change in the past, present, and future. The course focuses on evidence of climate change in the past, modern climate variability, and the range of theories and arguments regarding potential climate change in the future. The major controls on climate variability at a range of temporal scales. The modern research methods that are used to investigate past climate and to model possible climatic trends, such as global warming.

Questions the Course Will Address: Is climate changing? ;  How do I measure climate change? ;  What does it matter? What impact will climate change have on me? On life on earth? ;  How fast is climate changing? ;  What can I do about it? Can I do anything about it? ;  Is human activity the cause of climate change? .

Course content: Intro: Water;  Heat Budget: Atmospheric Moisture; Clouds/Dew: Historical Changes; Atmosphere Stability: Recent Glaciations; Precipiatiuon: Orbital/astronomic effects, El Nino; Air Pressure: Milankovitch cyclicity; Wind: Species Distributions; Fronts: Snowball Earth; Cyclones: Mountain-ODP, Sea Level; Forecasting: Deforestation; Thunderstorms: Hurricanes, Diseases;

Topics for discussion include the carbon cycle, solar orbital variations, monsoon variations, greenhouse warming, ozone depletion, El Niño-La Niña and ocean-atmosphere feedbacks. The human role in global change, and the response of the environment to such changes, including effects such as sea level rise, vegetation changes, and changes in ocean circulation.



1).   BECK, R. A.,BURBANK, D.W., SERCOMBE, W. J.,OLSON, T. L. & KHAN, A. M. (1995) Organic carbon exhumation and global warming during the early Himalayan collision. Geology, 23, 387-390.

1)        CANE, M. A. (1986) El Nino. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 14, 43-70.

2)        CIAIS, P.,TANS, P. P.,TROLIER, M.,WHITE, J. W. C. & FRANCEY, R. J. (1995) A large northern hemisphere terrestrial CO2 sink indicated by the 13C / 12C ratio of atmospheric CO2. Science, 269, 1098-1102.

3)        HANSEN, J.,LACIS, A. & PRATHER, M. (1989) Greenhouse effect of chlorofluorocarbons and other trace gases. Journal of Geophysical Research, 94, 16417-16422.

4)        KVENVOLDEN, K. A. (1988) Methane hydrate: a major reservoir of carbon in the shallow geosphere? Chemical Geology, 71, 41-51.
___ (1993) Gas hydrates: geological perspective and global change. Reviews of Geophysics, 31, 173-187.

5)        PETERS, R. L. (1988?) Effects of global warming on species and habitats. Endangered Species UPDATE, 5 (7), 1-8.

6)        PRINN, R. G. & FEGLEY JR., B. (1987) The atmospheres of Venus, Earth and Mars: a critical comparison. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 171-212, RAMPINO, M. R.,SELF, S. & STOTHERS, R. B. (1988) Volcanic winters. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 16, 73-99.

7)        ROEMMICH, D. & MCGOWAN, J. (1995) Climatic warming and the decline of zooplankton in the California current. Science, 267, 1324-1326.

8)        SHACKLETON, N. J. (1987) The carbon isotope record of the Cenozoic: history of organic carbon burial and of oxygen in the ocean and atmosphere. In: Marine Petroleum Source Rocks (Ed. byBrooks, J. and Fleet, A.J.). Geological Society of London Special Publication. 26, pp. 423-434. London.

9)        WAHLEN, M. (1993) The global methane cycle. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 21, 407-426.



Benchmarking: Miami University, Department of Geology / School of Interdisciplinary Studies