Paleoclimate research at the Center for Climate Systems Research (CCSR) has the aim of better understanding the evolution of the Earth's atmosphere, oceans, biosphere and cryosphere, from the depths of the geologic past to periods only slightly before the beginning of the 20th century and the development of modern meteorological instruments paleoclimate efforts are primarily centered on the use of global climate models to simulate climates of the past. However, we are involved in many collaborative efforts that bring together both data and modeling techniques to provide the broadest possible view of Earth's climate history.
Paleoclimate modeling helps us to better quantify the Earth's changing climate through time, especially helping us to understand the forces that drive climate change and the processes the operate when climates are either warmer or colder at present. In turn, we use paleoclimate simulations to validate the ability of computer climate models to accurately represent a wide range of climatic conditions. The ability to simulate climate changes that occurred in the past strengthens our confidence in the conclusions drawn from simulations of future climate.