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Climate Change in Perspective at Explorit's Next Lecture

This article appeared in the May 27, 2016 edition of the Davis Enterprise.


By Lisa Justice


Save the date, Tuesday, June 7, for Explorit’s next free public lecture “Paleoclimate perspectives on global climate change: A view from the bottom of the sea,” with Jennifer S. Fehrenbacher, PhD, Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences, UCDavis.


One of the most pressing concerns for life on Earth today is climate change, and what will happen in the future as we see global temperatures rising. Explore these issues with a local climate scientist and get your questions answered.


Paleoclimatology is the study of past climates. It’s a multidisciplinary field, combining history, anthropology, archaeology, chemistry, physics, geology, atmospheric and ocean sciences. Scientists have developed a paleoclimate record stretching back over 2 billion years. The Earth was warmer than at present for most of this time, punctuated by infrequent Ice Ages. 


From geological evidence, we know that three hundred years ago the world was in the depths of a prolonged cold spell called the "Little Ice Age," that lasted for nearly 500 years. Twenty thousand years ago large continental scale ice sheets covered much of North America, Northern Europe, and Northern Asia.


Fifty million years ago, global temperatures were so high that there were no large ice sheets at all.  It is hoped that studying climates of the past and endeavoring to determine the causes and effects of these changes will help us prepare for today’s changes.


Dr. Jennifer Fehrenbacher is a trained Climate Reality Project leader at UCDavis. She will discuss her research and show an abridged version of the Climate Reality Project presentation that introduces the possibilities for global solutions to today's climate change crisis. 


Jennifer studies past and present climate change and is interested in understanding how the Earth’s climate and ocean’s may change in the future due to both natural climate variability and anthropogenic perturbations. Her current research focuses on using geochemical data derived from microfossils to explore changes in the earth’s climate in the past.


The chemistry of the microfossils serves as an archive of the environment within which the organisms grew. She also grows living specimens captured near Catalina Island and the Bodega Marine Laboratory to understand how the geochemistry of the shells reflects the growth environment. 


Jennifer graduated with a BS in Geology from Northern Illinois University in 1997 and a PhD from the University of Chicago in 2010. She began working as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California, Davis in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in 2011 and is currently a Project Scientist in the same department. She will begin a faculty position in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University this fall.


Explorit’s coming events:


  • Explorit’s Exploration Gallery is open to the public every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 1:00-5:00 p.m. and every Friday, 3:00-6:00 p.m.  Admission is $5.00 per person; Explorit members, teachers and children 2 and under are free. Come check out the new Nano Mini Exhibition!
  • Summer Science Camp registration is open now! Visit for all the details.  Interested in volunteering at our Summer Science Camps?  Call Explorit now!
  • Interested in helping out the community through board membership? Explorit is currently seeking individuals in the community to serve as members of our volunteer board. Please call or email for additional information on how to apply.
  • Interested in membership?  Think your Explorit membership may have lapsed?  Call Explorit at 530-756-0191 to check or sign up!
  • Birthdays are back at Explorit!  Call Explorit at 530-756-0191 for more information or to book your party.



Explorit Science Center is located at 3141 5th St. For more information call (530) 756-0191 or visit, or “like” us on Facebook at

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