Time: Semester 1 2023

Location: on campus (University of Melbourne, Parkville) and online (dual delivery)

Coordinator: Dr Josephine Brown, josephine.brown@unimelb.edu.au

The history of Earth’s climate provides examples of widely different states, ranging from cold glacial climates to hot greenhouse climates. Palaeoclimatology seeks to reconstruct past climate conditions and understand the dynamics and variability of the climate system on a range of time scales. This course will explore key examples of past warm and cold climates, including the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, the Pliocene, the warm last interglacial period and the last glacial maximum. The drivers and mechanisms of past climate change will be discussed, with a focus on topics of current debate in palaeoclimate science. Proxy records used to reconstruct past climate will be discussed, such as ice cores, marine sediments, tree ring and coral records. The use of climate models to simulate past climates will also be a explored. The course will also address the relevance of past climates for understanding future climate change due to human activity.