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Studies in Geology 47: Geological Perspectives of Global Climate Change

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AAPG Studies in Geology #47

Geological Perspectives of Global Climate Change

Edited by Lee C. Gerhard, William E. Harrison and Brunold M. Hanson

Table of Contents


Introduction and Overview (pdf)

Global warming. Greenhouse gas. Carbon dioxide.

Is the earth getting warmer? Are glaciers melting? Are carbon-dioxide emissions affecting our climate? Do we really need to worry?

If we want to fully appreciate the potential role of mankind in altering worldwide climate, we must understand how and why temperatures have varied in the past. To measure the impact of human activity, we must assess the frequency and magnitude of temperature changes before the industrial revolution. Scientists arid policymakers interested in global climate change will benefit from information from all disciplines, especially those which routinely work backward in time as facts are established and interpretations are formulated. Thus, it is curious and puzzling why geoscience-based perspectives have not been engaged more prominently in debates on climate change.

Geological Perspectives of Global Climate Change, edited by Lee C. Gerhard, William E. Harrison, and the late Bernold M. "Bruno" Hanson, is an especially timely volume because of current debates regarding potential man-induced modification of climate.

It is the first volume to bring together a collection of geoscience investigations focusing exclusively on temperature variations of the past. The introductory sections address the major and minor physical controls, or drivers, that affect earth's climate. Several chapters describe the naturally occurring range of variation of climatic conditions and illustrate past changes in global temperatures. Additional topics include case studies that show how ancient temperature conditions are determined, as well as new techniques that have significant potential as proxies for assessing paleoclimates. Several chapters demonstrate the magnitude and length of duration of numerous temperature variations which have occurred during geologic time periods.

This is the first book to describe

Although many of the studies are oriented toward geoscientists, most can be read and understood by others. Thus, the book likely will be of interest to life, earth, and atmospheric scientists; educators; research workers; and policymakers who will appreciate having access to geoscience studies documenting the wide range of variation in climatic conditions of the past.

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