The list of periods and events in climate history includes some notable climate events known to paleoclimatology. Knowledge of precise climatic events decreases as the record goes further back in time. The timeline of glaciation covers ice ages specifically, which tend to have their own names for phases, often with different names used for different parts of the world. The names for earlier periods and events come from geology and paleontology. The marine isotope stages (MIS) are often used to express dating within the Quaternary.
500 million years of climate change
Ice core data for the past 400,000 years, with the present at right. Note length of glacial cycles averages ~100,000 years. Blue curve is temperature, green curve is CO2, and red curve is windblown glacial dust (loess).
Scale: Millions of years before present, earlier dates approximate.
- Before 1,000 Mya Faint young Sun paradox
- 2,400 Mya Great Oxygenation Event probably leads to Huronian glaciation perhaps covering the whole globe
- 650–600 Mya Later Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth or Marinoan glaciation, precursor to the Cambrian Explosion
- 517 Mya End-Botomian mass extinction; like the next two, little understood
- 502 Mya Dresbachian extinction event
- 485.4 Mya Cambrian–Ordovician extinction event
- 450–440 Mya Ordovician–Silurian extinction event, in two bursts, after cooling perhaps caused by tectonic plate movement
- 450 Mya Andean-Saharan glaciation
- 360-260 Mya Karoo Ice Age
- 305 Mya cooler climate causes Carboniferous Rainforest Collapse
- 251.902 Mya Permian-Triassic extinction event
- 199.6 Mya Triassic–Jurassic extinction event, causes as yet unclear
- 66 Mya, perhaps 30,000 years of volcanic activity form the Deccan Traps in India, Or a large meteor impact.
- 66 Mya Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary and ...read more