The Australian Earth Sciences Convention takes place on 26 – 30 June 2016 at the Adelaide Convention Centre. As part of the convention, Environment Institute researchers are leading the Sprigg symposium. Find out more about the conference and the Sprigg symposium below.
Sprigg Symposium: Earth’s Evolving Climate
Cesca McInerny, Jon Tyler, Juraj Farkas, Symposium Directors
Earth’s climate history, as recorded in geological archives, provides vital context for the planet’s future, facilitating the development and testing of new hypotheses and models for forecasting future change.
Even more fundamental, the history of Earth’s evolving climate provides context for life itself, and the inherent transfer of energy and elements between the lithosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, from a planet devoid of gaseous oxygen, to one where life exerts a hitherto unfathomable control over the composition of the atmosphere.
The importance of climate as an intermediary between life and Earth was recognised by Reginald Sprigg, in his pioneering exploration and documentation of the Australian geological landscape from his recognition of the Ediacaran fauna – Earth’s first multicellular life, to his mapping of stranded and submerged shorelines on the sea floor. Sprigg serves as inspiration for contemporary geoscientists, who are ideally placed to explore climate through the lens of the geological past.
The 2016 Sprigg Symposium, Earth’s Evolving Climate, will present lectures on key elements of Earth’s climate history, from origins through to present day. By going back to basics on the nature and causes of climate variability, the symposium hopes to shed new light on the future of our planet.