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ONLINE LECTURE: Deep-time (Geologic) Insight into Earth’s Future

March 19, 2020, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Dr. Isabel Montañez will present evidence for the robust atmospheric CO2-climate coupling throughout Earth history and what it reveals regarding the Earth’s sensitivity to CO2-forcing.  Three past climate events—abrupt greenhouse gas-forced warming of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (55 million years ago) and Triassic-Jurassic boundary (200 million years ago) and the turnover of the penultimate icehouse to permanent greenhouse conditions (300 million years ago)—will be used to illustrate how greenhouse-gas forced climate change has unfolded in the past and to characterize the fingerprints of change that herald climate and ecological thresholds.

The speaker

Isabel Montañez, Distinguished Professor of Geology at the University of California, Davis, is an extraordinary sedimentary geologist and geochemist whose approach to research is truly interdisciplinary, working with paleontologists, biologists, modelers, soil scientists, geochronologists, and other geochemists to better understand Earth’s ocean, land, and atmospheric records of the last half billion years. Her research reconstructs sea level history and determines the composition of ancient seawater and the atmosphere, and unravels the complex interactions and feedbacks between life and climate during icehouse and greenhouse periods. Her research has developed and refined proxies of past atmospheric CO2 concentrations and paleoclimate conditions, providing “ground-truthing” and calibration of proxy approaches in marine and terrestrial studies. Her research provides environmental and chronologic frameworks for investigations of the changing redox state of the oceans, biodiversification events and extinctions, major climate transitions, and the linkage to continental-scale tectonics and weathering. Dr. Montañez earned her BA in geology from Bryn Mawr College and her PhD in geology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


This program is also available on the Library’s Facebook page.



March 19, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Linda Hall Library
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Questions? Contact Eric Ward at 816.926.8753 for more information about these events.

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