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Géoaléas & paléoclimats / Geohazards & palaeoclimates

Natural hazards & palaeoclimates

Natural hazard maps display an overview of the hazard occurrence and risk potential resulting from the geological and tectonic features of a particularly sensitive regions. They represent events of endogenous origin (earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions) and exogenous origin (landslides, coastal vulnerability, karst collapse, land subsidence, etc.).
Palaeoclimatic maps depict our planet's natural environments, according to digital models developed for assessing the climate changes induced by the degree of warming determined through the volumes of greenhouse gases resulting from human activities. In CGMW paleoclimatic maps, this approach is reversed and enlarged by using actual examples provided by the Earth's recent past. Two maps represent the two time slices that correspond respectively to average Earth surface temperatures some 4.5 °C lower and 2 °C higher than today. On comparing the two sheets, one notes the considerable changes that a temperature difference of some 6 °C can cause in less than 100 centuries, among them: 125 m variation in sea level; total disappearance of a North American inland ice cap whose maximum thickness was 4 km; considerable fluctuation of the areas covered by arid zones and forests (wet tropical, temperate and boreal); etc. One also sees that at a slighter higher temperature, as during the Holocene optimum, our Planet's surface was generally wetter than nowadays with extensive permanent fresh-water bodies scattered over the Sahara associated with a steppe-like vegetation and a varied fauna of large mammals.