Quaternary paleoenvironments - methods
Veit ,  Jenny & Holzhauser

The field evidence for past variations in the Earth’s climate and landscapes has been used by scientists for predicting future climate change. So-called climate archives (e.g. lakes, soils) “collect” data often continuously over long periods of time and provide ideal records of past climate conditions. Therefore, investigations of climate archives, preferably with a high time resolution, in different areas of the world show global and regional differences in previous environmental conditions. Regional field evidence enabled also the development of advanced computer models of global and regional climate change, in which past changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation have been simulated. For example, studies of Antarctic ice cores provided crucial information for the models on long-term variations of atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane, hence providing information about the modern global warming.

Overall, terrestrial as well as marine archives are of great value in the study of climate and its vulnerability to sudden changes and to establish future climate scenarios. In order to investigate climate archives, a huge set of methods is available. Most methods are suitable for different archives and mostly, several methods are applied in one archive in order to reconstruct climate and previous landscapes. In the lesson Quaternary paleoenvironments - archives and methods, a small selection of widely used methods and terrestrial archives is given.

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Start Learning objectives Dendrochronology Pollen analysis Radiocarbon dating Review test Modelling Effect on landscape evolution Examples Field methods Historical methods Reconstructin glacier fluctuations Stable isotopes Archeological methods Glaciological methods


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29 August 2011
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