Climate Change in Gibraltar: Lessons from the past

16/12/2019 - 16/12/2019

We are delighted to host this year’s Gibraltar National Museum Christmas Lecture. It has been organised in partnership with the Museum and our very own  Institute of Life and Earth Sciences (ILES) of the University of Gibraltar. This event is free and no registration is required.

Date: Monday 16th December
Time: 7:00pm
Venue: Conference Hall, Europa Point Campus

This year’s speaker is Professor Clive Finlayson, Director of the Gibraltar National Museum, Beacon Professor and Director of the ILES. Professor Finlayson will be drawing on the extensive research undertaken in Gibraltar over the past thirty years and which document the way in which climatic changes have affected the Rock in the past. These results will be supplemented and broadened by evidence of past global climate changes and its causes.

One important aspect of the Gibraltar evidence is a detailed record of flora and fauna covering 120 thousand years. This record shows combinations of species that we would not expect to encounter anywhere today, for example spotted hyaenas and wolves. Other examples show a remarkable constancy, independent of climate changes elsewhere, so that a visitor from today to the past would meet familiar species. Yet other examples reveal species from an Arctic world, far removed from us today. How can we grapple and make sense of these disparate observations? Today we live in an interglacial world, a warm world which has only occupied a small proportion of time in the past. Are there living examples of species today that show how fragile the climate balance is? These are questions that Professor Finlayson will attempt to answer at this year’s Christmas Lecture.