Module 4: Global Records of Climate Change - The Deep Sea and Ice Cores
In this module, students explore and analyze records of past climate. In the first part of the module, students are given background information about long-term records of Earth's climate: deep sea sediment cores and ice cores. Students are also introduced to Oxygen isotopes and how they are used as records of past climate. Students complete a set of exercises that assess their understanding of the material and ask them to analyze data about the Laurentide Ice Sheet using the Neotoma Explorer. In the second part of the module, students examine Antarctic ice core data and apply their knowledge from the beginning of the module.
By the end of this activity, participants will:
- Gain basic information about long-term climate records.
- Make observations about and analyze climate records and related data.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
Module 4: Global Records of Climate Change - The Deep Sea and Ice Cores (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 10MB Jul5 18)
Teaching Notes and Tips
Sediment cores from the sea and ice cores provide independent information about climate change. These data can then be used to develop hypotheses about how climate change during a particular time interval should effect the dispersal of mammals. These hypotheses can then be tested with the Neotoma Paleoecological Database. The 18O/16O ratios are inversely related for sediment cores and ice cores because 16O is preferentially stored in the glacier, whereas in the ocean 18O values are enriched because of 16O depletion.