Taking Earth’s Temperature!


A compelling new film about climate change, produced by NAU’s IDEA Lab, will premiere at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 10, in Cline Library Assembly Hall.

The screening of Taking Earth’s Temperature: Delving into Climate’s Past is free and open to the public.

Filmmakers Dan BooneRyan Belnap and Peter Friedericias well as NAU researchers featured in the film—Scott AndersonDavid Fortin,Debra HuntzingerDarrell Kaufman and Nicholas McKay—will be on hand to answer questions from the audience.

The one-hour documentary, with footage from both the field and laboratories in the United States and Europe, showcases scientific discoveries about climate change. Because the Earth’s climate fluctuates over vast time spans, the scientists are looking for a long-term view that transcends daily experiences.

“By looking to the past, we can put the present in perspective and think more clearly about the future,” said Kaufman, an NAU Regents professor.

Taking Earth’s Temperature follows Kaufman and his research team as they travel to a remote Arctic lake to gather samples of lake-bottom mud that hold records of past climate changes. It also shows how scientists from around the world have collaborated to paint a new and detailed picture of the last two millennia of the Earth’s temperature history.

By comparing records from different parts of the world, scientists have been able to come to a much more intricate understanding of why those patterns change, to recognize variations that are not natural, and to test and improve predictive climate models. If those models can accurately explain past changes, then they may also provide today’s best possible look at what will happen to Earth’s climate in the future.