Climate Change Paper Assignment from 2009

Geology 306

Your term paper assignment is to write a 6-8 page (text, no more, no less) paper on a chosen “hot” topic in paleoclimatology or climate change.   Your paper should focus on a minimum of 3-5  primary sources- preferably including an article in either Nature and Science (may not be possible with all topics).   You should rely on published peer-reviewed literature – (from geological or other scientific journals). Limited use of textbooks is permissible, especially to educate yourself about background information.  For help with library research, see Mike VanHouten at reference desk.   I suggest Web of Science as a search engine.

Topic Suggestions:

  • Implications of  Patagonia Glacier Records for global climate change
  • Was the Younger Dryas really global?
  • The 8,200 yr BP cold interval – a mini Younger Dryas?
  • Recent ice sheet changes  West Antarctica.. The state of West Antarctica
  • Recent ice sheet changes  Greenland.. The state of Greenland
  • The bipolar seesaw-  time of northern and southern hemisphere ice ages
  • 14C dating of Midwestern moraines- how well is chronology known
  • Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth
  • Modern Sea Level Rise- contributions from different glacial sources
  • Records and causes of sea level change
  • Cultural response to late Holocene climate change
  • Massive deglaciations triggered by ice shelf collapse
  • Millennial Scale climate changes
  • The new (2007) Vostok Ice Core record
  • Interhemispheric comparison of climate proxies (choose moraines, ice cores, pollen etc.)
  • The last 1000 or 2000 years of climate history- is the Hockey Stick real?
  • Origin of the 100,000 year glacial cycle?
  • Peopling of the Americas- what is role of ice ages in human migration to new world
  • Evidence and significance of glacial megafloods –  outside of Scablands
  • History and Significance of ancient El Ninos
  • History and Climatic Significance of  Lake Agassiz


11/2                       Introduction to assignment

11/6                       Choose topic and one key article

  • 11/11      Hand in List of Key Articles, as well as any supplementary articles
  • 11/16      Annotated Bibliography of Key Articles
  • 12/2        Presentations in Lab
  • 12/7        Final Paper Due by 10 am (same as final take home exam)

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