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25. Ice and climate change

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Published on Apr 5, 2012

The Atmosphere, the Ocean and Environmental Change (GG 140)

Ice on earth is sensitive to climate change and ice plays a role in climate change processes. Recent trends in the Greenland ice sheet provide an important example. Over the past two decades the extent of surface melt water on the ice sheet has increased. Inaddition, satellites have detected a decrease in the overall mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet. .
Paleoclimate is also discussed in this lecture, with a focus on climate over the last 5 million years. The mid-Pliocene was a particularly warm period from 3.3-3 million years before present. The Pleistocene was a more recent cold period ending with the Last Glacial Maximum about 14,000 years before present. In comparison, the Holocene (12,000 years ago to present) has been a relatively warm stable climatic period. Geomorphology is used to determine the extent of continental ice in the past.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Mountain Glaciers
08:18 - Chapter 2. Greenland Glacier Trends
11:23 - Chapter 3. Satellite Measurements of Ice
15:57 - Chapter 4. Climate of the Last 5 Million Years
34:30 - Chapter 5. Geomorphology
42:51 - Chapter 6. Last Glacial Maximum
46:11 - Chapter 7. Stable Isotopes of Water

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu

This course was recorded in Fall 2011.

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