Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to provide students with the tools to deal with the classical problems or the most recent developments of paleoclimatology through the knowledge of the basic elements that allow the reconstruction and evolution of the environments and the climate of the past in a chronological framework
Course contents summary
1) Earth’s modern climate and processes; 2) the broad details of Earth’s climate history and in particular for the
past 250 Ma; in detail the past 65 Ma 3) the main proxies used to reconstruct past climate; 4) the Greenhouse effect and role of the carbon cycle in Earth’s climate; 5) the role of ice sheets, ocean circulation, and orbital insolation on Earth’s climate; 6) changes in sea level related to climate change; 7) main climate characteristics of the last 2 ka
Introduction to the climate and thermal balancing
Archives and proxy introduction-
General concepts on stable isotopes
Oxygen isotopes as paleoclimate proxy and stratigraphy
Cycle of Carbon, carbon Isotopes , Clatrates, primary productivity
Astronomical control of radiation
Planet evolution and Faint Sun Paradox
Snowball Earth Hypothesis
Fanerozoic: POLAR POSITION and BLAG HYPOTHESES
Mesozoic: Jurassic climate
Mesozoic: Climate of the Cretaceous
Cenozoic: Paleocene-Eocene climate: hyperthermals.
The transition from Greenhouse to Icehouse
Cenozoic: Climate of the Oligocene-Miocene,
Cenozoic; Climate of the Pliocene: the roleof the Panama Strait
Messinian: Mediterranean Sea evolution, Salinity Crisis
Astronomical theory of the climate
Climate Pliocene and glaciations Pleistocene
Mid Pleistocene Revolution (MPR)
Mediterranean Sapropels: causes
Climatic changes and Humans
Younger Dryas and Holocene
Global warming and the future
Earth's Climate- Ruddiman W.
Paleoclimates' by Thomas M. Cronin
Didactic material (slide, Scientific articles) made available by the teacher
Frontal lectures with multimedia tools, practical application of concepts
through individual and group exercises in the classroom
Assessment methods and criteria
The student's knowledge and his ability to process, integrate and communicate with third parties is verified, also through individual seminars held by him in the classroom during the lessons, followed by a class debate. The seminar is prepared by the student through the use of bibliographic material provided by the teacher and multimedia support. The definitive acquisition of knowledge is verified by oral examination.
With the seminar 4 points are acquired; the oral exam is divided into n. 4 questions for a total of 26 points, depending on the difficulty. Praise is gained with a score equal to or greater than 33.
Informal checks in the classroom and final oral exam
Information are associated with
the relative "Dublin Indicators" (DI) that characterize their purposes.
- Knowledge and understanding;
- Applying knowledge and understanding;
- Making judgements;
- Communication skills;
- Learning skills.