GG 140 - Lecture 25 - Ice and Climate Change

Lecture 25 - Ice and Climate Change


Ice on earth is sensitive to climate change and ice plays a role in climate change processes. Recent trends in the Greenland ice sheet provide an important example. Over the past two decades the extent of surface melt water on the ice sheet has increased. In addition, satellites have detected a decrease in the overall mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Paleoclimate is also discussed in this lecture, with a focus on climate over the last 5 million years. The mid-Pliocene was a particularly warm period from 3.3-3 million years before present. The Pleistocene was a more recent cold period ending with the Last Glacial Maximum about 14,000 years before present. In comparison, the Holocene (12,000 years ago to present) has been a relatively warm stable climatic period. Geomorphology is used to determine the extent of continental ice in the past.


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