Tipping Points in Earth’s History


Studying critical environmental thresholds in Earth history that led to rapid transitions into warmer or colder states provides the information needed to evaluate the rates and consequences of today’s changing climate.

The resources available in this section offer students the opportunity to investigate ways in which Earth’s history can be recorded in ocean floor sediments, and how these layers of sediment can shed light on the factors that lead to significant changes in Earth’s environments. The ability to identify these tipping points is ever more urgent as human activity sends Earth’s climate to a point of no return. Classroom activities are supplemented with posters and children’s books that further illustrate these critical times in Earth’s history.

Key Words: tipping point, threshold, fossils, microbiology, Earth’s history, cores, microbiology, sea floor, sediments, climate, human activity/impact

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