Ice, Mud, and Blood

Dublin Core


Ice, Mud and Blood moves through global climate history, and the accompanying science, more or less chronologically, weaving together diverse climate periods and expert knowledge about them. The first chapter “Greenhouse” is a bird’s eye view of warming as a critical climate phenomenon rather than an inquiry into a climatic period. This introductory chapter helps us frame the book around the concern of climate change. Turney begins his climate history with the Neoproterozoic era, then moves on to more recent warming trends from around 18,000 years ago, and finally ends with a discussion of very recent carbon dioxide figures and temperature reports. While Turney’s project is massive in temporal and geographic scope, it is helpfully oriented around a singular objective––learning as much as possible about global climate pasts in order to chart trends for climate futures. Ice, Mud and Blood reveals that the story of earth’s climate is one of varying temperatures, water levels, and terrestrial land masses. But Turney carefully argues that this story of varying temperatures should not be used to normalize recent warming trends. Turney writes: “If the world was left to its own devices, it should now be cooling down. Instead, we’ve wrested control of the climate and are taking it in the opposite direction.” The earth, Turney concludes, is warming at an unexpected time and rate.



Turney, Chris. Ice, Mud and Blood: Lessons from Climates Past. , 2008.






Chris Turney, “Ice, Mud, and Blood,” Legacies of the Enlightenment, accessed July 25, 2024,