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GeoClimate: Probing Earth's Deep-Time Climate Archives

GeoClimate is a developing community-based initiative that focuses on the importance of "deep time" for understanding today's climate and climate change. Earth's climate system operates on a continuum of temporal, spatial, and parametric scales. The deep-time geologic record preserves numerous examples of past climate transitions between states more extreme than those recorded in instrumental data, in historical records, or even in Quaternary archives. Critically, some of these transitions show evidence of having been abrupt--a major societal concern in light of the large changes currently occurring in atmospheric CO2 levels, which have now moved beyond the envelope of Quaternary variation, and into the realm of deep time. In this regard, an understanding of the details of large-scale transitions in deep time, and the processes involved in them, is critical to an informed assessment of future climate change.

The proposed GeoClimate effort will be able to progress only through enhanced data and modeling collaborations among earth-, ocean- and atmospheric-science researchers, targeting the deep-time record to achieve a holistic understanding of Earth's climate system.

Credit: NSF

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