Question: How can you estimate about the climate changes that occured thousands of years ago?

  1. Estimating climate change for the past can be very hard but there are definitely ways to do it! One way is to look at ice from Greenland or the Antarctic. The ice there is really old and it has recorded information for every year of snow that has fallen onto it. You can study some chemicals in the ice/snow like oxygen and hydrogen which can show you what the temperature might have been in the past. You can also do this by looking at mud from the oceans and fossils / micro-fossils in the mud, the chemicals in their shells can tell you a lot about the climate of the past!


  2. Hi!
    Rhian has already given some great examples of how you can do this.
    Another example are tree rings as their growth will also record changes in climate.
    Estimating changes that happened a long time ago is certainly not easy and it gets harder and harder when we try to get further back in time (millions of years ago) since some of these techniques may not work anymore.
    We also use numerical modelling to help us reconstruct past climates (and this is what I mainly do). However, we wouldn’t be able to do this without all the real data that we collect in the field! But climate models can help us close the gaps when the field data is not available or too hard to collect.