Climate is the planetary response of the atmospheric circulation to its changing composition, to the solar system configuration, to the Earth’s rotation and to the oceans’ and continents’ distributions. It displays, as a result, a restless moving pattern, expressed at a global scale by subsiding and uplifting convection cells.
These changes have long been recognized and documented in geologic objects of all ages. In many rocks, different geologic features, fossil fragments and imprints, prehistoric remains and historic reports, there is a climate signal that can be analyzed and interpreted. All that information should be gathered in order to learn more about past climate changes. Lessons from the past support the view that deep change is the rule, not the exception, even where no reference is available, due to strongly contrasting extremes, chaotically defined by the whole ensemble of extra-planetary, external, and internal geodynamic controls.
Science-based knowledge is crucial to face current challenges, which are focus for research within the UNESCO chair on Geoparks, Sustainable Regional Development and Healthy Lifestyles and the UNESCO chair on Humanities and Cultural Integrated Landscape Management, both partners in this international meeting.
Our goal is to stimulate an observational attitude and to promote an open discussion on paleoclimatic signals in order to improve our look at the present and to ground future perspectives.