|paleoclimatology (pā'lē-ō-klī'mə-tŏl'ə-jē) Pronunciation Key
The scientific study of climatic conditions, along with their causes and effects, in the geologic past. These conditions are reconstructed on the basis of evidence found in the geologic record, especially in the form of glacial deposits, fossils, sediments, and rock and ice cores. Because much of the geologic record studied in paleoclimatology predates humans, this research is valuable for weighing the relative influence of human and natural causes of global climate change. It also provides test situations for computerized climate modeling systems used to predict present-day climate changes.