Changing Paleoclimates and Mass Extinctions

Donald Blanchard, No institutional affiliation

This article provides a model for climatic change and relates climatic cycles with major extinction events in the history of the Earth. It discusses the mechanisms behind modern climate zones (circulation, storm systems, seasons), astronomical models, climatic models (obliquity conditions, rising sea levels, current conditions), and mass extinctions and model timing (causes of extinction events, predicted vs. documented extinctions, and extinction-driven evolution). A geologic time scale provides a reference for climatic conditions at different periods in Earth history. References are provided for additional information.

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Subject: Biology, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climatology
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Overview/Reference Work
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14), Graduate/Professional, College Upper (15-16)
Climate Literacy Principles: Natural Variability and Change, Life and Climate Are Linked:Climate Ecosystems, Complex Interactions, Life and Climate Are Linked:Climate Evolution, Survival of Organisms / Species
Focus on the Cretaceous: Climate, Paleontology
Topics: Climate, Time/Earth History, Biosphere