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Climate change: evidence from the geological record

Climate change is a defining issue for our time. The geological record contains abundant evidence of the ways in which Earth’s climate has changed in the past. That evidence is highly relevant to understanding how it may change in the future. 

The Geological Society has issued an addendum to its original Climate Change Statement published in 2010. In 2013, in light of further research, the working group was re-convened to consider whether the original statement was still fit for purpose, and if necessary to amend or add to it. The working group concluded that the original statement continues to be valid and does not need to be amended. Instead the working group produced an addendum setting out new research findings relevant to the questions raised in the original statement.

The full technical version of the addendum together with the non-technical summary, aimed at principally non-specialists and Fellows of the Society with a general interest, can be found here:

December 2013 - An addendum to the Geological Society Statement on Climate Change

In 2010 The Geological Society prepared a position statement on climate change, focusing specifically on the geological evidence. A drafting group was convened, with the aim of producing a clear and concise summation, accessible to a general audience, of the scientific certainties and uncertainties; as well as including references to further sources of information. The Council of the Society issued this statement as part of the Society’s work “to promote all forms of education, awareness and understanding of the Earth and their practical applications for the benefit of the public globally”. The statement is intended for non-specialists and Fellows of the Society. It is based on analysis of geological evidence, and not on analysis of recent temperature or satellite data, or climate model projections. It contains references to support key statements, indicated by superscript numbers, and a reading list for those who wish to explore the subject further.

November 2010 - Climate change - evidence from the geological record

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