The climate on our planet has changed across different time-scales over the geological past. With accelerated warming induced by human-made perturbations it is important that we understand the whole climate system and factors that drive this.

The oceans

Sunset on AMT16 cruise. Credit Alex Poulton.

The oceans cover around 70% of our globe. The sediments below it, that have been accumulating for millions of years, provide unique past climate archives.

Much of our research at the Lyell Centre involves the reconstruction of marine environments in the past.

One of our hot topics involves oxygen concentrations in seawater and how these have varied the past. You can find out more about the research we do around this topic by checking out Marine Projects.

One thing people from this group have in common is a fascination and love for foraminifera. Their beautiful fossil shells and the information contained within them have revolutionized the understanding of how climate has evolved over the last ca. 65 million years.

Planktic foraminifera from the Benguela area. Credit Helge Winkelbauer

This website is designed by the Past Climates team from the Lyell Centre of Heriot-Watt University.