Event Title

A Glimpse into the Past: the Importance of Biosphere Models to Understand Permian Climatic and Environmental Conditions

Presenter Information

Alexa Williams, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

30-4-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

30-4-2015 3:55 PM

Project Type

Poster

Description

The biosphere was significantly impacted by glaciation and deglaciation over the Earths geological history. The Permian period (≈299-251 million years ago; ma) signaled the end of icehouse conditions, even though bipolar glacial-interglacial cycles continued into the Permian. The changing climatic conditions in the Permian caused extinctions and an overall decrease in terrestrial plants that thrived in colder conditions but could not survive in warmer climates. The vegetation shifted to conifers and ferns in most regions, with lycopsids and spehnopsids occurring regionally. Researchers try to piece together past environments through macro and microfossil data, but models have also been developed in order to reconstruct past climatic and environmental conditions. These studies are especially importance because Permian conditions are similar to those of our present world, making investigations into the past pertinent to understand the type of extinctions and temperature fluctuations that could be predicted in our modern day. Although there are many different models that researchers use, and some are not as useful at reconstructing past environments, I argue that these models are important to understand past climatic conditions.

Faculty Sponsor

Herb Wilson

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Geology Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Natural Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

1443

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Apr 30th, 2:00 PM Apr 30th, 3:55 PM

A Glimpse into the Past: the Importance of Biosphere Models to Understand Permian Climatic and Environmental Conditions

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

The biosphere was significantly impacted by glaciation and deglaciation over the Earths geological history. The Permian period (≈299-251 million years ago; ma) signaled the end of icehouse conditions, even though bipolar glacial-interglacial cycles continued into the Permian. The changing climatic conditions in the Permian caused extinctions and an overall decrease in terrestrial plants that thrived in colder conditions but could not survive in warmer climates. The vegetation shifted to conifers and ferns in most regions, with lycopsids and spehnopsids occurring regionally. Researchers try to piece together past environments through macro and microfossil data, but models have also been developed in order to reconstruct past climatic and environmental conditions. These studies are especially importance because Permian conditions are similar to those of our present world, making investigations into the past pertinent to understand the type of extinctions and temperature fluctuations that could be predicted in our modern day. Although there are many different models that researchers use, and some are not as useful at reconstructing past environments, I argue that these models are important to understand past climatic conditions.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2015/program/158