Header Image of the Earth

Topic #2: History of Earth’s Climate


Bloom's Taxonomy

Learning Objectives

Upon successfully completing this topic's activities, you will be able to:

  • Differentiate between a direct measurement of climate and a proxy measure of climate.
  • Explain what proxy measures tell us about Earth’s average temperature and atmospheric composition history.
Video Videos

Snowball Earth. This video describes the climate of ancient Earth.

Ancient Earth. This video describes the climate of Earth until the KT boundary.

Modern Earth. This video describes the climate of Earth until the present day.

Gaia. This video explores the relationship between climate and biology.




In Essay 1, you will download temperature data from any town you would like to know more about. This could be a town you or a family member have lived in, a place you have visited, or a town you would like to live in. The temperature data you download will be from satellite and ground station sources. You will graph that data as well as running averages of that data. Once you have graphical representations of the temperature data from your town, write an essay that answers several prompts as outlined in the instructions in the assignment document.

For all essay assignments, use the formatting described in the Formatting document. You will also find useful tips on how to write a great essay in the Writing Good Essays document and the UC Davis Writing Videos.