Paleoclimate and Isotopes
Before moving forward, one must look backwards. We must look back at climate change over time, to identify how the changes which are taking place now, or those that will take place in the future, differ from what we have seen in the past.
In order to do this, researchers use fossilized geological records and various isotopic techniques to reveal past climate occurrences. As temperatures rise and fall over hundreds and thousands of years, ocean waters become more or less concentrated with heavy oxygen molecules, as do the plants and animals that live in those waters.
Studying the past, through ocean life, ice cores, tree rings and sediment cores, provides a means of more accurately using computer models to predict future climate change trends.
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