School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences


Thomas Crowley

Professor Thomas J Crowley BA,MS,PhD
SAGES Director

Institute: Earth Science
Room: 343
Address: Grant Institute, The King's Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JW
Phone: +44 (0) 131 650 5339
FAX: +44 (0) 131 668 3184

Research Groups: 1. Global Change
2. Research Students
Research Interests: History and modelling of past climates: effect of climate change on the biosphere; past carbon cycle variations; utilisation of palaeoclimae data to validate climate models and as a reference scale for future climate change projections; Pleistocene oceanography; palaeo-ocean modelling; decadal-centennial scale climate variability; climate projections for nuclear waste disposal sites; climate change in Texas and the Gulf Coast; effect of sea level rise on coastal processes.
Further Information: Curriculum Vitae (full)
Curriculum Vitae (short)
Selected Contributions:
PDFs of Selected Papers:
new theory on ice ages
sealevel, storms, and barrier islands
modelling Pangaea ice age
last interglacial Antarctic sea ice
ice age high res model
paleo climate sensitivity
paleo climate detection
modelling Snowball Earth "oasis"
global warming paleo
note on volcanism
millennial heat content
modelling mill. ice sheet var.
testing snow ice instability
out-century climate projections
no analog for future warming

Public Commentaries:
Guardian: comment on Lord Stern
Guardian: extreme statements on global warming
Open Letter re: J Hansen
Independent: response to Lovelock
Eos: is Bush Admins. suppressing climate science?
response1 to climate skeptics
response2 to climate skeptics
Guardian: Creationism and Big Bang
Science: testing the power of prayer
review of Climate of Fear

Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

*Jump to The SAGES Home Page*

A concept central to SAGES is that the Earth operates as a system controlled by the interactions between the oceans, atmosphere, biosphere and the solid earth. SAGES will build knowledge of the interactions between these elements, and improve predictions of how they will respond to future climate change and human impact. SAGES Research is divided into five main themes (follow the links above). Background & Context

Recent human activities, such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation, have dramatically increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide to levels far in excess of the natural fluctuations that characterized the last few million years. The impact of such a change is not known with certainty, but the increasing global temperatures, frequency of floods and drought, and rising sea level are typical of a system undergoing change.

Past climate records show that the Earth’s temperature fluctuations mirror variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, as evident in records from the last four Ice Ages, and intervening warm periods. What is dramatic from past observations is how rapid the switch from one mode to the other can be; in certain instances abrupt change occurs in decades or even centuries. A key concern today is that the changes induced by human impact could lead to a comparable sudden switch in part of, or even the whole system.

This represents an outstanding threat in need of solutions! The creation of SAGES is the response of a group of scientists to this challenge. We aim to improve our understanding of how the Earth system works, and to improve our predictions of its potential response to human-induced changes, on both local and global scales.