Geologic to Human Timescales of Climate Change

May 7th(Tuesday), 6 p.m., Teton Co. Library Auditorium– Open to Public. Presentation: Geologic to Human Timescales of Climate Change”, Presented by J J Shinker, University of Wyoming.

Climate changes. However the rates of past climate change as well as the mechanisms that cause climate change vary. Past, present and future climate have implications for changes in vegetation, disturbances like fire and drought and issues related to valuable resources such as water – both locally, nationally, and globally.  

Join Dr. J.J. Shinker for a look into a variety of data sources that help us understand the underlying causes and consequences of climate change across a variety of timescales from tens of millions, hundreds of thousands and hundreds of years. Slow-moving tectonic processes are an example of forces external to the climate system that impacted climate change throughout the last 70 million years. The gravitational pull of the sun and large outer planets impacts the shape of the Earth’s orbit, tilt and wobble across hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands of years. These external processes have led to climatic and associated long-term environmental changes.  


J.J. will present evidence for climate change over the last 160+ years to provide context on how recent rates of change in temperature differ from the past. These recent changes of temperature, in particular, are relevant to one of our most valuable resources in the US’ western states, water. Recent temperature increases have led to early onset of spring, earlier and more rapid snowmelt, increased evaporation and as one result reduced late-season streamflow. From a societal perspective, future climate change impacts on western water resources are relevant to energy production, agriculture and municipalities to name only a few areas of very significant impact.