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2020 statement on climate change in the geological record

The Geological Society has published an updated scientific statement, writes Alicia Newton, Director of Science & Communications

1 March 2021

The paper reviews the evidence of climate change in the geological record

The Geological Society published its first statement on the geological record of climate change in 2010, followed by an addendum in 2013. Because this is a fast-moving field of science, in 2018 the Society and the UK Paleoclimate Society jointly convened a panel of experts to review the Geological Society’s existing statements and to create a revised version that reflects the current state of scientific research. The resulting paper is published in the Journal of the Geological Society (Lear et al. (2020) J. Geol. Soc. 178(1): jgs2020-239; https://doi.org/10.1144/jgs2020-239).

As part of their process, the expert panel reviewed nearly 200 peer-reviewed publications, as well as white papers and international climate assessments. They also received questions raised by Fellows following the Society’s Annual General Meeting in 2019. This information was distilled into a comprehensive publication that documents four billion years of Earth history, and explores how previous episodes of greenhouse gas-induced warming can inform our understanding of Earth’s future.

A related conference will be held 26-27 May.

Visit www.geolsoc.org.uk/05-GSL-Climate-Change for more information

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