EARTH'S PAST

FUTURE

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Ancient air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice from the Last ('super') Interglacial (130,000 years ago)

LESSONS FROM THE PAST

Time present and time past

Are both perhaps present in time future,

And time future contained in time past

THOMAS STEARNS ELIOT (1888–1965)

 

Imagine a world of wildly escalating temperatures, apocalyptic flooding, devastating storms and catastrophic sea level rise. This might sound like a prediction for the future or the storyline of a new Hollywood blockbuster but it is something quite different: it’s our past. In a day and age when we’re bombarded with worrying forecasts for future climate, it seems hard to believe that such things could come to pass. Yet almost everywhere we turn, the landscape is screaming out that the world is a capricious place. The problem is that if we don’t tune in, the message is lost. We need to decipher the past and learn from it.

The Earth's Past Future Project represents a team of scientists dedicated to understanding how the planet has changed in the past and what this means for the future. Based at research institutions around the world and working from the poles to the tropics, we search the globe for geological, chemical, and biological records of past environmental change. Drilling polar ice sheets and glaciers, sinking cores into lake muds, boring  living and buried trees, and searching the ocean floor for ancient deposits, we're extending the historical observational record of the last two centuries or so back tens of thousands of years. By finding out what happened when and why, we are trying to reduce the uncertainties surrounding  climate projections and help plan for the future.

 

If you would like to support our work do please get in contact.

We'd love to hear from you.

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