The shape of past climate provides a warning: everything can change quickly

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Sawtooth wave

It’s the suddenness that feels like a betrayal, severing the casting line of continuity. That unthinkable call, the collapsing spire, a briefly unattended child. A geological timeline of events blocked out into before and afters, as if different earths altogether, separated by a single nightfall. The feeling is always the same: a futile search for what could have been done differently. Sometimes the answer is nothing, and sometimes, cruelly, the answer is a lot.

When Willi Dansgaard was making oxygen isotope measurements on the first deep ice core…

Summer Praetorius

Paleoceanographer and climate scientist, pattern seeker, (micro)fossil hunter. www.summerpraetorius.com

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