Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

A new way of thinking: Revolutions in paleoclimatology in the last 50 years

Judith Totman Parrish
Judith Totman Parrish
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Idaho, P.O. Box 443022, Moscow, Idaho 83844-3022, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
September 01, 2013

Changes in the study of paleoclimate during the past 50 years can be demarcated by three revolutions. Plate tectonics was a major (“Kuhnian”) revolution. Two smaller, but nevertheless significant, revolutions were the ocean-drilling revolution and the climate-model revolution. The history of paleoclimate studies shows, in general, an evolution from geographically and/or temporally focused studies in the pre-plate tectonics era, to development of paleoclimate proxies and studies of global climate patterns, to predominantly global studies in connection with paleoclimate modeling; the revolutions have been responsible for some of the shifts in focus. In the most recent decade, new questions posed by global studies and paleoclimate models have driven a reexamination of, and new focus on, geographically and/or temporally focused work. Even more recent advances in geochronology, coupled with the current new energy in developing paleoclimate proxies, are showing the beginnings of a new cycle and hold promise of creating a fourth revolution: the human-impacts revolution.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables


GSA Special Papers

The Web of Geological Sciences: Advances, Impacts, and Interactions

Marion E. Bickford
Marion E. Bickford
Department of Earth Sciences, 204 Heroy Geology Laboratory, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244-1070, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of America
ISBN print:
Publication date:
September 01, 2013



Citing Books via

Related Articles
Related Book Content
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal