Climate change through time

Discovering geology – maps and resources

Earth’s climate has changed throughout the billions of years of our planet’s geological history. Evidence for past climate, including the extreme conditions linked to mass extinctions, can be found in the rocks around us. Many rock-forming environments are directly influenced by climate. Were your local rocks formed in a desert, or a tropical swamp, or on a cold seabed? And what evidence can we find to show that these environments really existed millions of years ago?

The Climate through time poster and online map illustrates the links between our planet’s changing climate and the different rocks that formed as environmental conditions varied through geological time.

Climate through time poster downloads

Download and print the Climate through time poster for the classroom.

Climate through time poster map. Printed copies are available from our Online Shop.
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Climate through time poster map. Printed copies are available from our Online Shop. BGS ©UKRI. All rights reserved.

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Climate through time online

Climate through time online is an interactive version of the popular poster map, but includes examples of where you might find some of the rock types in the UK and Ireland.

You can show the different rock-forming environments and processes by either clicking on the geological time Period menu or the sea level/temperature graph. This will change the map of the UK and Ireland to show just the rocks formed during that Period:

  1. Click on the palaeogeographic globes to show the approximate position of UK and Ireland during that Period.
  2. Click on the ‘Environment and processes’ tabs to show the evidence and examples of where the rocks outcrop at the surface.
  3. Look at the temperature and sea level curve during that Period. Where was the UK and Ireland at that time, nearer to the equator or the South Pole?
  4. Click on the ‘Save and print’ button at the bottom of the map to print a map of individual Periods.
Climate through time online is an interactive version of the poster map, but includes examples of where you might find some of the rock types in the UK and Ireland.
Information icon

Climate through time online is an interactive version of the poster map, but includes examples of where you might find some of the rock types in the UK and Ireland. BGS ©UKRI. All rights reserved.

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