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26. Isotope Evidence for Climate Change

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Published on Apr 5, 2012

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

Isotopes are used to measure past climate properties. Deuterium and oxygen 18 are the most commonly used climate proxies. Lighter isotopes evaporate more readily from the ocean, so water vapor in the atmosphere is isotopically lighter than ocean water. This vapor gets lighter still as it is transported to higher latitudes while losing mass by precipitation. These processes leave an isotopic signal of temperature and continental ice volume in ice cores and deep sea sediment cores.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Stable Isotopes of Water
09:48 - Chapter 2. Isotope Delta Notation
11:41 - Chapter 3. Isotopic Fractionation
18:08 - Chapter 4. Water Isotopes in Ice Cores
31:14 - Chapter 5. Terrestrial and Deep Sea Sediments
33:44 - Chapter 6. Oxygen Isotopes in Ocean Sediment Cores
44:08 - Chapter 7. Milankovitch Theory of Ice Ages

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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