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10.3 Origin of Recent climate change: The green house world around the North Atlantic - Michael Houmark-Nielsen

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.

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