The Origins course tracks the origin of all things – from the Big Bang to the origin of the Solar System and the Earth. The course follows the evolution of life on our planet through deep geological time to present life forms.
Origin of Recent Climate Change / The Molecular Clock
In module 10, we will tell you about two very different topics – recent climate changes and the molecular clock. Michael Houmark will tell you about the changes in global climate over the past 50 million years. During this period the warm temperatures in the Eocene were gradually replaced by the much lower, present day temperatures. Michael will show you how much better records of sea level, temperature, CO2, volcanic activity, and continental drift in the recent past allow us to piece together a detailed picture of these dramatic changes in Earth’s climate. Our records of recent climate change also allow us to better understand the processes controlling the climate on short, medium, and long time scales. Ole Seberg will tell you about the molecular clock. This is a new technique, which has significantly improved our understanding of the evolution of life on our planet. Looking at molecular data of present species, we can not only determine how closely the species are related to each other, we can also estimate the age of their common ancestors.