August 12, 2014

Earth’s hottest periods occurred before humans existed. Those ancient climates would have been like nothing our species has ever seen.

May 1, 2014

Like a prehistoric fly trapped in amber during dinosaurs' days, airborne relics of Earth's earlier climate can end up trapped in glacial ice for eons. How do climate scientists turn those tiny relics into a story about Earth's ancient climate?

March 7, 2014

In October 2003, a little-known think tank in the Department of Defense quietly released a report warning that climate change could happen so suddenly it could pose a major threat to our country's national security. Why was the Pentagon worried about abrupt climate change? Because new evidence from Greenland showed it had happened before. 

This figure shows the various astronomic cycles that influence long-term global climate cycles (Milankovitch cycles), plotted on the same time scale for easy comparison.

In this week's Beyond the Data blog, NCEI's Deke Arndt explains how comparing a record-setting warm streak from 2015 to one in 1944 is like comparing the tallest player in the NBA to the tallest kid in 2nd grade.

An applet about the Milankovitch cycle that relates temperature over the last 400,000 years to changes in the eccentricity, precession, and orbital tilt of Earth's orbit.

In this activity for undergraduates, students explore the CLIMAP (Climate: Long-Range Investigation, Mapping and Prediction) model results for differences between the modern and the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and discover the how climate and vegetation may have changed in different regions of the Earth based on scientific data.

This animated visualization of precession, eccentricity, and obliquity is simple and straightforward, provides text explanations, and is a good starting place for those new to Milankovitch cycles.

This short video, adapted from NOVA, explains how Earth's position relative to the Sun might be responsible for the dramatic shift in the climate of what is now the Saharan nation of Djibouti.

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