Understanding Earth’s Deep Past: Lessons for Our Climate Future

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A new book just released by National Academies Press.  From their description:

There is little dispute within the scientific community that humans are changing Earth's climate on a decadal to century time-scale. By the end of this century, without a reduction in emissions, atmospheric CO2 is projected to increase to levels that Earth has not experienced for more than 30 million years. As greenhouse gas emissions propel Earth toward a warmer climate state, an improved understanding of climate dynamics in warm environments is needed to inform public policy decisions. In Understanding Earth's Deep Past, the National Research Council reports that rocks and sediments that are millions of years old hold clues to how the Earth's future climate would respond in an environment with high levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases.

Understanding Earth's Deep Past provides an assessment of both the demonstrated and underdeveloped potential of the deep-time geologic record to inform us about the dynamics of the global climate system. The report describes past climate changes, and discusses potential impacts of high levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases on regional climates, water resources, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and the cycling of life-sustaining elements. While revealing gaps in scientific knowledge of past climate states, the report highlights a range of high priority research issues with potential for major advances in the scientific understanding of climate processes. This proposed integrated, deep-time climate research program would study how climate responded over Earth's different climate states, examine how climate responds to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and clarify the processes that lead to anomalously warm polar and tropical regions and the impact on marine and terrestrial life.

In addition to outlining a research agenda, Understanding Earth's Deep Past proposes an implementation strategy that will be an invaluable resource to decision-makers in the field, as well as the research community, advocacy organizations, government agencies, and college professors and students.

The page linked above also includes a free downloadable .pdf to those who are registered (registration is free) if you don't feel like plunking down $34 for the paperback.

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One Response to Understanding Earth’s Deep Past: Lessons for Our Climate Future

  1. Maria says:

    Dear Sir or Madam,my name is Lisa Junghans and I’m a Master student in gerhaopgy and urban planning at Trier University/Germany.I’m contacting you in the face of my Master Thesis, in which I am planning to evaluate different approaches and measures of municipalities to adapt to climate change. Exemplary I am comparing Durban/ South Africa and Hamburg/ Germany. Based on literature as well as a couple of interviews, I’m hoping to get valuable information which I can use for analyzing learning potential between those cities as well as possible ways for funding. I would like to gain some more information on DCCP, maybe have a telephone interview with one of your respective members. Do you think that would be possible?I would be happy to hear back from you! Thank you very much in advance!Kind Regards,Lisa Junghans

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