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), College Upper (15-16), Graduate/Professional
Focus on the Cretaceous: Climate, Paleontology
Theme: Teach the Earth:Incorporating Societal Issues:Climate Change, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Atmospheric Science