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What does the Past tell us about Climate Change in a Warmer World? by Prof Ulrich Salzmann

Friday 20th February, 7-8pm

Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle

Our understanding of future global warming relies heavily on the prediction of climate model simulations. Although progressively more sophisticated, climate models have many uncertainties. One approach to explore these uncertainties and understand mechanisms of potential future climate change is to look at time periods in the past for which geological and palaeo-botanical data are available.

Professor Salzmann will present results from an international programme focussing on the global reconstruction of vegetation and climate of the warm late Pliocene world, ca 3 million years ago, using geological data and models. The late Pliocene period is widely regarded as an example of a world that may be similar to the Earth in the late 21st Century. The talk will present global reconstructions of Pliocene vegetation, sea and land surface temperatures, soils and lakes. Challenges of reconstructing and quantifying a Pliocene warm world with data and model will be discussed.

Ulrich Salzmann is Professor of Palaeoecology at the Department of Geography, Northumbria University Newcastle. He is palynologist and biogeographer with a particular interest in past vegetation and climate change of the tropical and polar regions.