What Controls the Climate System?
What Are the Effects of Climate Change Today?
Fossil Record Suggests Insect Assaults Foliage May Increase with Warming Globe
Geoclimate: Probing Earth's Deep-Time Climate Archives - streaming RealVideo (23 min. 14 sec.) from NSF
Scientists Search for the Cause of Ancient Global Warming
Climates of the Past
The climate of Earth has been changing for billions of years! It warmed and cooled many times long before humans were on the planet.
How do we know what the climate was like a thousand years ago, a million years ago, or even a billion years ago? To figure out what climates used to be like, scientists work like detectives and look for clues around the planet to solve the mystery. They find clues inside sedimentary rocks, glaciers, fossils, trees and corals.
Today, people are worried because the Earth is warming faster than it has in the past. Faster warming is happening because more greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.
Click on the links below to learn more about how climate has changed in the past.
- Happenings During the Paleozoic Era (545-248 Million Years Ago)
- Happenings During the Mesozoic Era (248-65 Million Years Ago)
- Happenings During the Cenozoic (65 Million Years Ago to Present)
- The Little Ice Age (1350-1850)