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13-2 Earth's Future

What Does Earth's Past
Tell Us About Our Future?

Imagine that the U.S. Congress has set aside $100 million for the study of past climate changes. The purpose of this research will be to learn about Earth’s past in order to better predict future climate changes.

The Request for Proposals states that individual scientists may apply for up to $2 million to study a particular period in Earth’s history. Your job is to submit a proposal to conduct further studies of life and climate during a particular period of time. Successful proposals must

  1. show that the period studied will reveal important principles about how life and climate interact;
  2. describe a method of study that will reveal information about climate and life that is not already known; and
  3. explain how information about this period would apply to current dilemmas concerning the theory of global warming and the anticipation of future ice ages.

Your instructor may have further guidelines for you to use in preparing a written or oral presentation of your research proposal.