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Has Earth seen hotter times? Are the drivers of climate change the same over tens of millions of years versus over thousands of years? What is a climate forcing versus a feedback? How do glaciers respond to climate change? What will happen to sea level as modern climate change continues? What are methane hydrates, and will modern global warming accelerate if and when these hydrates melt? Did northern Africa go through a humid period? These are some of the subjects addressed in this topic room.

Earth's climate is dynamic, and the effects of climate change are pervasive. But Earth's climate system is also complicated with many interacting components, feedbacks, and forcings. While weather is difficult to predict beyond a few days, the magnitude, direction, and impact of climate change is often easier to predict and quantify. Sometimes Earth's past serves as a good indicator for what may be in Earth's climatic future, but some other climate events in Earth's past provide no analogs for modern climate change.

To develop a rich understanding of climate and Earth's surficial processes, begin with this introductory overview, and then explore the many articles below. Read about the paradox of a young, cooler sun, and a very hot Earth during the Archean (2.5-3.5 billion years ago) and compare that to a green Sahara a few thousands of years ago. Learn about the influence of climate on the creation of fine dust and soil, and vice versa. Think about a world after "global warming" where acceleration of glacial melting and sea level rise seem unavoidable. Consider whether global warming could create even more global warming by melting methane ice in oceanic sediments. Read about whether modern climate change is likely to cause a disaster, or a changed world to which our civilization has to struggle to adapt, or no change at all.

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