Past climates: Faster changes

  • Image: Triff /Shutterstock

  • Image: Ross Chapman

  • Image: PSD photography / Shutterstock

  • Image: SOHO ESA and NASA

  • Image: NASA

  • Image: NASA /JSC

    Dramatic events such as meteorite impacts, massive floods and sudden releases of carbon have led to past changes in climate over timescales ranging from thousands of years to just decades. Short-lived volcanic eruptions and variations in the Sun’s output have led to less dramatic climate changes over timescales from a few years to a few decades.