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Warm periods of the past

A CCfCS paleoclimate symposium
When Feb 22, 2017
from 02:00 PM to 05:30 PM
Where MR9, Centre For Mathematical Sciences
Contact Name
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Credit: Konstantinos Kourtidis (distributed via 



  • 14.00 Introductions

  • 14.05-14.40 Gavin Foster (University of Southampton)

  • 14.40-15.15 Erin McClymont (Durham University)
    Living in a 400 ppmv CO2 world - lessons we might learn from the Pliocene epoch

  • 15.15-15.40 Tea

  • 15.40-16.15 Emilie Capron (Niels Bohr Institute, Denmark) 
    Back to the future? Climate clues from the Last Interglacial 

  • 16.15-16.50 Dan Lunt (University of Bristol)

  • 16.50-17.30 Panel discussion about implications for future.



Worlds that are warmer than today have a particular relevance for the 
future. Although no period in the past is exactly analogous to the 
climate of the future, they all hold lessons about the impacts of 
warmth, and provide test cases, outside their calibration range, for 

The last interglacial, around 125,000 years ago, had particular warmth at 
the poles, and sea level considerably higher than today. It holds the 
advantage that it is relatively well-documented, allowing the climate 
dynamics affecting polar regions and ice sheets to be examined. The 
Pliocene, around 3 million years ago offers the most recent period where 
warmth is associated with CO2 levels comparable to those of today. Going 
back further (up to aroiund 50 million years ago) we reach more extreme 
warmth in conditions where Earth's geography was different to that of 
today. Our speakers will discuss their fascinating findings, built on 
novel geochemistry and Earth system modelling, about the causes and 
consequences of warmth in these periods.  We will finish with a panel 
discussion about how these results inform us about what to expect and 
what to avoid in the future.