[pey-lee-oh-klahy-muh-tol-uh-jee or, esp. British, pal-ee-]

Origin of paleoclimatology

First recorded in 1915–20; paleo- + climatology
Related formspa·le·o·cli·ma·to·log·i·cal [pey-lee-oh-klahy-muh-tl-oj-i-kuh l or, esp. British, pal-ee-] /ˌpeɪ li oʊˌklaɪ mə tlˈɒdʒ ɪ kəl or, esp. British, ˌpæl i-/, pa·le·o·cli·ma·to·log·ic, adjectivepa·le·o·cli·ma·tol·o·gist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for paleoclimatology

also paleo-climatology, 1920, from paleo- + climatology. Related: Paleoclimatologist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

paleoclimatology in Science


  1. The scientific study of climatic conditions, along with their causes and effects, in the geologic past. These conditions are reconstructed on the basis of evidence found in the geologic record, especially in the form of glacial deposits, fossils, sediments, and rock and ice cores. Because much of the geologic record studied in paleoclimatology predates humans, this research is valuable for weighing the relative influence of human and natural causes of global climate change. It also provides test situations for computerized climate modeling systems used to predict present-day climate changes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.