Quaternary climat changes

A.Y. 2016/2017
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course offers a basic knowledge scientifically updated on the climatic change which occurred on the earth during the last two millions of years, involving methodological approach and facts. The anthropogenic and natural causes behind this change are highlighted. Applications in related scientific fields ( Applied Geology, Environment Protection, Rescue Archaeology) are also discussed.
Expected learning outcomes
The student will learn the climatic change occurred during Quaternary and will be aware to understand the present debate about the causes of the global warming and more in general about the role of human influence on natural processes. Furthermore he will be able to apply these skills to the research on natural and archaeological context
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
The late Cenozoic, the Quaternary stratigraphy: Holocene, Pleistocene and Gelasian.

The climate system (energy balance, ocean and athmosphere circulation). Greenhouse gases and feedback mechanisms.
Variation of earth's orbital parameters and causes of the climatic change according to the croll-millankovich theory.

Changes in solar radiance: sun spots and climatic changes. Long-term changes in atmospheric 14c content, the cosmogenic isotopes.

The glacial era: the question of the glacial periods in the alpine region . Since the origins up to penk e brueckner . The glacial period in northern europe and in northern america. Evidence of the glacial period at the lombardia alpine ringe, in the friuli region, around the garda lake and at the appennine margin of the po plain.

Climatic changes in non-glaciated region. The periglacial areas loess deposits, loess deposits in italy. Paleoclimatic meaning of the sedimentary fill in rock shelters and caves. Coast line changes. The arid zone, the saharian and arabian deserts.

The climatic change during the holocene

climate and civilisations , interactionc between climatice changes and societal collapses..

The anthropocene : climatic change during the last millenniun.

The conceptual tools for reconstructing the climate of the past: Geomorphology, pedology, sedimentology of continental systems. Geological, pedological, geomorphological Mapping and remote sense analysis.

Reconstructing the climatic changes in the past: historical and archaeological data. The proxy data in the geological system

Oxigen isotopes in deep sea cores and ice cores.

Dating the past : incremental methods ( dendrochronology, lichenometry, varves); radiometric methods ( radiocarbon, uranium isotopes , thermoluminecence optically stimulated luminecence, radiogenic isotopes) . the paleomagnetic time scale.
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Cremaschi Mauro