News FocusSOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY

Going Back to the Future To Understand Climate Change

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Science  29 Oct 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6004, pp. 582
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6004.582

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Summary

Paleontology is often seen as a time machine that allows scientists to reconstruct events that happened millions and millions of years ago. But several speakers at the meeting turned that notion on its head: They used paleontological data to predict the future, drawing on species' behavior during past episodes of climate change to predict how they will fare—and how to help them—as greenhouse gases warm the planet.