What can we learn from the past to help predict the future?


The Nobel Conference brings students, educators and members of the general public together with the leading thinkers of our time, to explore revolutionary, transformative and pressing scientific questions and the ethical issues that arise with them.

Historical events and records have helped us understand our climate. In some cases, the story is written in the rocks, glaciers and forests covering our planet. In other cases, we have written human records telling what has happened to our climate. Besides helping us understand current climate changes, historical records also tell us how we and the earth has responded when the climate changes rapidly like it is now. The resources here look back to history for an idea of what might be coming.

The Coming Climate Crisis
Mr. Ghosh will use this piece from Foreign Policy Magazine as a jumping off place for his talk. It looks to the Little Ice Age as a model of what we might expect to happen to civilizations under the current climate change.

Ice-Core Evidence of Abrupt Climate Change
By Richard Alley

Climate Change Doomed the Ancients
By Eric Cline
Brief op ed piece in the New York Times, about how a past change in climate had dramatic impacts on social institutions.