A lecture by Kirk Johnson, PhD, vice president of research and collections and chief curator with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Dr Johnson studies fossil leaves to reconstruct ancient landscapes, using geological records to understand rapid contemporary trends of climate change. Earth’s climate has fluctuated between Icehouse and Greenhouse conditions, alternating between periods that sustained huge ice caps and times when there was almost no ice at all. During Greenhouse conditions, in the not-so-distance past, both Greenland and Antarctica were covered by forests! The state of Colorado preserves particularly rich records of the periods of lush vegetation and abundant water, providing a glimpse in an entirely different Planet Earth, with an environment that may help us to better understand temperature changes that are occurring in our own time.

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