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Description: Article by professor Judith Totman Parrish and Professor Paul Koch discussing the current state of knowledge and future direction of research.
Paleoclimatology in the 21st Century Judith Totman Parrish and Paul Koch Recent predictions of the magnitude of future climate change in response to anthropogenic emissions have been controversial, generating significant political heat. Indeed, there is still debate as to whether the warming documented in historical records over the past 150 years is an extraordinary result of human activity, or merely a typical fluctuation in a variable system. These controversies exist because of a lack of understanding about the global climate system, which permits alternate interpretations of global climate data, as well as a lack of understanding of the historical range of climate variability. Thus despite 20 years of intense research and numerous significant developments, the range of possible future climate-change scenarios has not changed. These controversies illustrate that the Earth's climate system is a subject of immediate concern to society and that the need for more research in this area is great.
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Page title:Paleoclimatology
Keywords:paleontology, palaeontology, museum, evolution, fossils, history