To understand climate change today, we first need to know how Earth's climate changed over the past 450 million years. Finding answers depends upon contributions from a wide range of sciences, not just the rock record uncovered by geologists. In Earth's Climate Evolution, Colin Summerhayes analyzes reports and records of past climate change dating back to the late 18th century to uncover key patterns in the climate system. Earth's Climate Evolution will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about future climate change.
Earth's Climate Evolution takes a unique approach to the subject providing a description of the greenhouse and icehouse worlds of the past 450 million years since land plants emerged, ignoring major earlier glaciations like that of Snowball Earth, which occurred around 600 million years ago in a world free of land plants. It describes the evolution of thinking in palaeoclimatology and introduces the main players in the field and how their ideas were received and, in many cases, subsequently modified. It records the arguments and discussions about the merits of different ideas along the way. It also includes several notes made from the author's own personal involvement in palaeoclimatological and palaeoceanographic studies, and from his experience of working alongside several of the major players in these fields in recent years.
Earth's Climate Evolution will be an invaluable reference for both undergraduate and postgraduate students taking courses in related fields and will also be of interest to historians of science and/or geology, climatology and oceanography.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The Great Cooling
Chapter 3: Ice Age Cycles
Chapter 4: Trace Gases Warm The Planet
Chapter 5: Moving Continents and Dating Rocks
Chapter 6: Mapping Past Climates
Chapter 7: Into the Icehouse
Chapter 8: Greenhouse Gas Theory Matures
Chapter 9: Measuring and Modelling CO2 Back Through Time
Chapter 10: The Pulse of the Earth
Chapter 11: Numerical Climate Models and Case Histories
Chapter 12: Solving the Ice Age Mystery – The Deep Ocean Solution
Chapter 13: Solving the Ice Age Mystery – The Ice Core Tale
Chapter 14: The Holocene Interglacial
Chapter 15: Medieval Warming, the Little Ice Age, and the Sun
Chapter 16: Putting It All Together
Colin Summerhayes is an Emeritus Associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute of Cambridge University. He has carried out research on past climate change in both academia and industry: at Imperial College London; the University of Cape Town; the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; the UK s Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory; the UK s Southampton (now National) Oceanography Centre; the Exxon Production Research Company; and the BP Research Company. He has managed research programmes on climate change for the UK s Natural Environment Research Council, the Intergovernmental Commission of UNESCO, and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research of the International Council for Science. He has co-edited several books relating to aspects of past or modern climate, including North Atlantic Palaeoceanography (1986), Upwelling Systems: Evolution Since the Early Miocene (1992), Upwelling in the Oceans (1995), Oceanography: An Illustrated Guide (1996), Understanding the Oceans (2001), Oceans 2020: Science, Trends and the Challenge of Sustainability (2002), Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment (2009), and Understanding Earth's Polar Challenges: International Polar Year 2007-2008 (2011).