There has never been a more critical time to understand the causes and potential consequences of Earth’s changing climate. The context for understanding the global warming of today lies in the records of the Earth’s past. This module will put key data and published case studies of past climate change at your fingertips, so you can experience the nature of paleoclimate reconstruction. You will evaluate data, practice developing and testing hypotheses and infer the broader implications of the scientific results. How we know is as important as what we know about past climate. This module is inquiry based and departs from the traditional lecture-based format.

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Frame climate change appropriately within geological time-scales, with a focus on the Cenozoic.
  • Synthesize palaeoclimate data, formulate hypotheses and articulate evidence based arguments.
  • Apply quantitative and problem solving skills to palaeoclimate data.
  • Recognise and deal with complexity and uncertainty in geological/environmental data-sets.
  • Work independently and in groups and effectively communicate (in writing and orally) with others.
  • Be able to evaluate the magnitude, pattern and rates of climate change during time-periods of focus (e.g. the Cenozoic).