Methods and Modelling in Palaeoclimatology

Module code: GL4111
Module co-ordinator: Professor Mark Williams

Journey through four billion years of Earth's environmental evolution, examining those climate states of deep time when the Earth was a massive snowball for millions of years, with ice extending into the tropics, and a very warm world in which dinosaurs trailed through the ancient Cretaceous forests of Antarctica. Earth's climate has changed naturally over millions of years, but the 'human experiment' with climate that is happening at present is unprecedented in its rapidity.

Topics covered

  • How to decouple the human from the non-human climate impact
  • How past climate states may inform our understanding of the near future
  • The impact of humans from a geological perspective


  • 18 hours of lectures
  • 3 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 129 hours of guided independent study


  • Exam, 2 hours (60%)
  • Coursework (40%)