Clues about the past climate are buried in sediments at the bottom of the oceans, locked away in coral reefs, frozen in glaciers and ice caps, and preserved in the rings of trees. Each of these natural recorders provides scientists with information about temperature, precipitation, and more.
How do we know temperatures from the past?
One way to measure past temperatures is to study ice cores. Whenever snow falls, small bubbles filled with atmospheric gases get trapped within it. … The temperature record recovered from ice cores goes back hundreds of thousands of years from glaciers that have persisted on landmasses like Greenland and Antarctica.
How do scientists know what the temperature on Earth was thousands of years ago?
Short answer: Researchers estimate ancient temperatures using data from climate proxy records, i.e., indirect methods to measure temperature through natural archives, such as coral skeletons, tree rings, glacial ice cores and so on.
Which allows scientists to investigate what Earth’s climate was like over the past 740 000 years?
Scientists can use both sea-floor sediment and ice cores to study climates that existed hundreds of thousands of years ago. They can compare evidence from each method to see if both agree about the climate of a particular period.
Why do we study past climates?
The study of ancient climate is key to understanding how the climate system works–and how it might change in the future. Geologic records going back millions of years show that natural patterns, like shifts in Earth’s orbit, can steer dramatic changes.
How far back do climate records go?
The temperature record of the past 1000 years describes the reconstruction of temperature for the last 1000 years on the Northern Hemisphere. A reconstruction is needed because a reliable surface temperature record exists only since about 1850.
Which of the following do scientists study to understand past climates?
Paleoclimatology is the study of climate records from hundreds to millions of years ago.