Quaternary climat changes

A.Y. 2019/2020
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 last period of the Cenozoic, Quaternary registry office: Holocene, Pleistocene, the Gelasian problem.
The proxies, evidence to reconstruct the climate of the past
The climate system (the energy balance, atmospheric circulation, ocean circulation). Greenhouse gases: feedback mechanisms.
The ice age, the origins (Venetz etc) Penck and Brukner the quadripartite glaciations. The glaciation in central and northern Europe. the glaciation in northern america.
Stories of our house: aspects of geology of the Quaternary of the southern edge of the Alps and in the Po Valley (, Adda, Bagaggera, Leffe, Garda, Tarcento, beyond the Po. The Apennine margin.
Variations of terrestrial orbital parameters: the causes of climatic variations according to the croll-millankovich theory.
oceanic cores for the reconstruction of climate change in the late Cenozoic era, the role of stable oxygen isotopes. The main perforations: climate change from 2 million years ago.
Ice core drilling, the role of greenhouse gases, Arctic and Antarctic core drilling, main drilling, long sequences-
The last glacial interglacial cycle. Stratigraphic series of Northern Europe. The Palinological study of the Grande Pile, Teachings from the Arctic ice cores. Heinrich events, Oescher - Dansgaard cycles
Climate change in non-glacial areas. The periglacial, the filling of shelters and cavities, the loess, the loess in Italy. Swings of the Aeolianite coast line. Arid areas, subtropical deserts
Climate changes of holocene, classification of Blitt and SEnander, sunspots and cosmogenic isotopes, volcanic eruptions. subtropical deserts, the oscillations of glaciers and alpine lakes, the little glacial age
Climate and civilization, relationships between climate crises and anthropic cultures.
The anthropocene: the climate change of the last millennium
The measurement of time Traditional sources for measuring time - Incremental techniques (dendrochronology, lichenometry, limnology); radiometric techniques (Radiocarbon, Isotopes of Uranium, Thermoluminescence, Optically Stimulated Luminescence, Cosmogenic Isotopes). Paleomagnetism.
Prerequisites for admission
Basics in Earth Sciences and Archaeology
Teaching methods
Teaching Resources
Slides and books on specific topics
Assessment methods and Criteria
Written and oral examination
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Zerboni Andrea
Mon-Fri, 9-11.
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra "Ardito Desio", Via L. Mangiagalli 34, 20133 Milano