This exhibition highlights research on climate change over Earth’s history. It was first displayed in 2015 and has been brought back to mark the release of the first part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report, which addresses the most up-to-date climate change science, potential risks and options for our future.
Since the exhibit’s first debut, we have seen numerous unprecedented climate disasters worldwide. Discover what 70 million years of evidence reveals about our dynamic climate, including today’s rapid rate of change. Explore a natural history climate timeline to see when some of the most fascinating events occurred, including the age of dinosaurs, the first arrival of humans and time periods of great civilizations.
Understanding Earth’s Changing Climate
- Visualize changing climate by examining giant graphs showing both long- and short-term temperature changes and learn some of the basics of how Earth’s climate is studied.
Natural History Timeline
- Compare a sequence of events to understand where dinosaurs, humans, megalodon sharks and other animals and events fit into Earth’s history.
- Thousands of scientists are studying climate science using a variety of methods, revealing new surprises every day.
- Weather describes short-term changes in the atmosphere, while climate is measured on a scale of 30 years or more.
- Earth is warming faster today than at any other time in history — except during cataclysmic events such as meteor strikes.
- Humans have a significant impact on Earth’s climate.
- Earth’s tilt toward the sun and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can affect climate.
- The process of carbon dioxide trapping heat in the atmosphere isn’t new; it was discovered in the early 1900s by Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius.
Special thanks to our collaborators: the University of Florida Department of Geological Sciences; the Florida Museum divisions of Anthropology, Mammalogy, and Vertebrate Paleontology; and the University of New Hampshire Complex Systems Research Center.