Climate change: past, present & future
Antarctic ice core records show that important CO2 changes occur on 10-1,000 year timescales. The ocean plays a large role in controlling these changes. Ocean circulation models are used to model the influence on carbon in its various forms by oceanographic parameters such as temperatures, currents, and sea ice.
A variety of climate models are used to improve our understanding of the climate and interpret ice core data. From complex models running on supercomputers to simple models running on a home pc, each experiment is tailored to match the objectives. How and why did climate vary in the past? How is this reflected in ice core data? What are the implications for future climate?
The Greenland ice cores tell about climate more than 120,000 years back in time. Unusually stable conditions have prevailed during the last 11,700 years of the present warm interglacial period. Before that, glacial Greenland temperatures were 15-20°C colder and much more variable with temperature changes of 10-15°C occurring within decades.