Initial Publication Date: December 12, 2005

Name of Resource: The Discovery of Rapid Climate Change
Climate Change Theme:Abrupt
Sponsoring Organization: Physics Today
Intended use:Background Material
Intended audience:Educators and Researchers
Average Review Ratings (Poor to Excellent, 1-5 scale): 4 stars

Description:This site an article about the discovery of rapid climate change and how the prevailing views of climate change evolved (sometimes haltingly) from time scales involving thousands of years time scales on the order of a decade or less. What I found most appealing about this article is that it highlights the nature of science—that science is not always swift to change its theories despite having ample evidence that a theory must be revised. Readers will get insight into the fact that basic human nature can influence the progress of
science. (JG)

Summary of Reviews

Reviewer: morrill.html 4 stars
Comments: This is an article about abrupt climate change written by a historian of science. It was published in Physics Today, the magazine of the American Institute of Physics, in August 2003. It is useful for learning about abrupt climate change, as well as about the nature of the scientific process. It could be improved by including figures of the climate timeseries described in the text.
Read entire review: link text (Acrobat (PDF) 59kB Jun21 05)

Reviewer: ganse.html 4 stars
Comments:I enjoyed the article, but I've always enjoyed reading about the nature of science. I fear that most teachers would shy away from this article and would not be inclined to use it or its information in the classroom. However, it really could be used to highlight the true nature of science and serve as a counterbalance to the textbook view that science changes quickly when new discoveries are made.
Read entire review:link text (Acrobat (PDF) 55kB Jun21 05)