paleoclimatology


paleoclimatology
paleoclimatological /pay'lee oh kluy'meuh tl oj"i keuhl/ or, esp. Brit., /pal'ee-/, paleoclimatologic, adj.paleoclimatologist, n.
/pay'lee oh kluy'meuh tol"euh jee/ or, esp. Brit., /pal'ee-/, n.
the branch of paleogeography dealing with the study of paleoclimates.
[1915-20; PALEO- + CLIMATOLOGY]

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or palaeoclimatology

Scientific study of the extended climatic conditions of past geologic ages.

Paleoclimatologists seek to explain climate variations for all parts of the Earth during any given geologic period, beginning with the time of the Earth's formation. The basic research data are drawn mainly from geology and paleobotany; speculative attempts at explanation have come largely from astronomy, atmospheric physics, meteorology, and geophysics.

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also spelled  palaeoclimatology,  

      scientific study of the climatic conditions of past geologic ages. Paleoclimatologists seek to explain climate variations for all parts of the Earth during any given geologic period, beginning with the time of the Earth's formation. Many related fields contribute to the field of paleoclimatology, but the basic research data are drawn mainly from geology and paleobotany; speculative attempts at explanation have come largely from astronomy, atmospheric physics, meteorology, and geophysics.

      Two major factors in the study of both ancient and present-day climatic conditions of the Earth are the changes in the relationship between the Earth and the Sun (e.g., the slight alteration in the configuration of the Earth's orbit) and the changes in the surface of the planet itself (such phenomena as volcanic eruptions, mountain-building events, the transformations of plant communities, and the dispersal of the continents after the breakup of the supercontinent Pangea). Some of the questions that were studied in the past have been largely explained. Paleoclimatologists found, for example, that the warmth of the northern hemispheric landmasses during at least 90 percent of the last 570 million years is mainly due to the drift of the continents across the latitudes; until about 150 million years ago, both North America and Europe were much closer to the Equator than they are today. Other questions, such as the reasons behind the irregular advances and retreats of the ice sheets (i.e., glacial and interglacial episodes), are much more difficult to explain, and no completely satisfactory theory has been presented.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Paleoclimatology — (also Palaeoclimatology) is the study of climate change taken on the scale of the entire history of Earth. It uses records from ice sheets, tree rings, sediment, and rocks to determine the past state of the climate system on Earth. Reconstructing …   Wikipedia

  • paleoclimatology — [spelling only] …   English World dictionary

  • paleoclimatology — noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary Date: circa 1909 a science dealing with the climate of past ages • paleoclimatologist noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • paleoclimatology — noun The study of the Earths climate in the geologic past …   Wiktionary

  • paleoclimatology — n. scientific study of the climates of past geological periods …   English contemporary dictionary

  • paleoclimatology — pa·leo·climatology …   English syllables

  • paleoclimatology — pa•le•o•cli•ma•tol•o•gy [[t]ˌpeɪ li oʊˌklaɪ məˈtɒl ə dʒi[/t]] esp. brit. [[t]ˌpæl i [/t]] n. mer the study of paleoclimates • Etymology: 1915–20 pa le•o•cli ma•tol′o•gist, n …   From formal English to slang

  • paleoclimatology — noun the study of the climate of past ages • Syn: ↑palaeoclimatology • Hypernyms: ↑archeology, ↑archaeology * * * | ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷+ noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary pale + climatology …   Useful english dictionary

  • Climate — For other uses, see Climate (disambiguation). Worldwide Climate Classifications Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature …   Wikipedia

  • Proxy (climate) — Climate proxies are preserved physical characteristics of the past that enable scientists to reconstruct the climatic conditions that prevailed during much of the Earth s history. As reliable modern records of climate only began in the 1880s,… …   Wikipedia


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