This Oceanus article provides an overview of paleoclimate studies by discussing past and current methods for determining paleoclimate. It explains how the geological record has become an important archive for understanding the range of natural variability in climate, the processes that cause climate change on decadal and longer time scales, and the background variability from which greenhouse warming must be detected. It also discusses new technologies such as sediment traps and satellite imagery that help researchers ground-truth abundance of foraminifera, shelled microorganisms that serve as climate proxies. The article features enlargeable color images and diagrams.

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