Topics: Climate of the Holocene

Geology 510/610
Tuesday-Thursday  10:00 - 11:50

Cramer 69  

Text: Earth's Climate - Rudimman and assigned outside readings

Instructor: Andrew G. Fountain


Climate change has been a normal feature of the Earth as far back as the record can be traced.  Humans have experienced and adapted to amazing changes in climate over the relatively short time they have been on Earth.  This class focuses on the Holocene, or that part of the geologic time since the last Ice Age and coincident with the rise of complex societies and civilization.

Pieter Bruegel                    1565 Hunters in the Snow                           1601 Winter landscape with birdtrap

Painted during the middle of the Little Ice Age.  Are modern winters that cold in Belgium?

The class will be largely seminar in style in which students will take on readings initially from the text and then from the original scientific literature to lead a class discussion about that topic.  Initially, the presentations will be chosen from a pre-existing list of topics, but as the class develops over the quarter, students may suggest journal articles for potential presentation and discussion.   Both discussion leaders and participants have responsibilities.  


Expectations:  Class Discussion Leader,  Class Member.
Guides to term paper format and content and suggestions for oral presentations HERE  

11 October Reading ConveyorBelt: Lozier2010. Turn in answers to the following questions.

1. In the early view of the conveyor belt, what did Stommel's work provide and what did Broecker's work provide?
2. What is the conveyor belt?
3. What was the conundrum when the presence of ventilated waters in the DWBC was confirmed? And what did this eventually lead to?
4. Observational, modeling, and theoretical results provide the basis for discarding what feature of the DWBC?
5. Identify the fundamental issues addressed in the last paragraph after the heading, 'What are the open questions about the overturning?'
6. What was the suprising finding from measurements of the overturning transport?
7. What is the fundamental problem with the conveyor-belt model?

16 October  Mid-Pleistocene Transition      Articles: Raymo&Huybers2008; Elderfield et al., 2012
                    Presenter: Andrew

18 October   Deglaciation  Current Proxy    Articles: Barker et al., 2009: Blunier&Brook 2001
                     Presenter: Jesse, Assist: Matt

23 October  Younger Dryas                        Articles: Taylor et al., 1997; Eddesen & Hald 2004. Skim: Vacco et al., 2005.
                     Presenter: Kelly, Assist: Liz

25 October  Abrupt Climate Transitions      Articles: Alley et al., 2003; Clark et al., 2002
                     Presenter: Erin, Assist: Jesse

30 October   8200 Year Event  Bubbles      Articles: Alley et al., 1997; Clarke, 2003.
                     Presenter: Liz, Assist: Esther

1 November More 8200 year   Sea Level   Articles: Keiven et al., 2008; Tornquist&Hijma 2012;
                     Presenter: Matt, Assist: Erin

6 November Spanning the Holocene  10Be   Articles: O'Brien et al., 1995; Schaefer et al., 2009
                     Presenter: Esther, Assist: Kelly

8 November A look at the USA     OSL     Articles: Halfen et al., 2010: Miao et al., 2012
                     Presenter: Erin, Assist: Liz

13 November Another look       Dating       Article: Benson et al., 2002
                       Presenter: Kelly, Assist: Matt

15 November Medieval Climate Anomoly   Articles: Bradley et al., 2003; deMenocal 2001
                       Presenter: Jesse, Assist: Esther

20 November Little Ice Age   Sunspots       Articles: cultural background; Miller et al., 2012
Presenter: Liz, Assist: Jesse                 for the cultural background, write up
                                                                                 briefly cultural impacts and scientific
                                                                                 hypotheses for the cause of the LIA


27 November Human Effects C Proxy         Articles: Effects Sapart et al., 2012; skim - Ruddiman 2005 & Broeker&Stocker 2006
                       Presenter: Matt, Assist: Kelly
                        Outline Sapart and just a few of the high points of Ruddiman

29 November Class Review                      Review Lectures and Articles - write up the high points of Climate of the Holocene
                        Presenter: Esther, Assist: Erin
                                              including major processes

29 November Term Paper Reports