Methods for Determining Past Climates


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question 1 of 3

How do ice core samples provide paleoclimatologists with evidence of past climate change?

I. As new layers of ice freeze, air bubbles form, trapping samples of past atmosphere. Large amounts of greenhouse gases present in these air bubbles signify higher temperatures.

II. Scientists can compare adaptations of fossils trapped in the ice.

III. Knowing that the ratio of oxygen isotopes varies according to temperature, paleoclimatologists test for the presence of heavy oxygen as an indicator of temperature.

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1. Paleoclimatology is

2. What is best represented by the diagram below?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Earth's climate during prehistoric times is drastically different than what we see today. To successfully pass this quiz, you will need to demonstrate a knowledge of climate change over large spans of time and what science can reveal about it.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

To prove your credentials on this topic, you will be quizzed on:

  • What ice core samples reveal about past climates
  • The study of paleoclimatology
  • How various organisms reveal information about past climates

Skills Practiced

  • Critical thinking - apply relevant concepts to examine the geological characteristics of past climates
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding the scientific study of past climates
  • Problem solving - use acquired knowledge to analyze the information provided by ice core samples and fossilized organisms

Skills Practiced

To learn more about this subject, be sure to read the accompanying lesson called Methods for Determining Past Climates. The lesson covers:

  • Various scientific methods used to determine the climates of the past
  • What climate data can be extrapolated from atomic measurements
  • The relevant information that can be ascertained by ancient vegetation