This class will cover the theory and reconstruction of the evolution of Earth’s climate through geologic time. After reviewing fundamental principles that control Earth’s climate, the class will consider aspects of the climate reconstructions that need to be explained theoretically, such as the faint young sun paradox, snowball Earth episodes, Pleistocene glacial / interglacial cycles, and long-term Cenozoic cooling. Then we will switch to a temporal point of view, the history of Earth’s climate as driven by plate tectonics and biological evolution, and punctuated by mass extinctions. This will allow us to place the theoretical ideas from the first part of the class into the context of time and biological progressive evolution.
Mon Wed Fri : 10:20 AM-11:10 AM