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The field of paleoclimatology relies on physical, chemical, and biological proxies of past climate changes that have been preserved in natural archives such as glacial ice, tree rings, sediments, corals, and speleothems. Paleoclimate archives obtained through field investigations, ocean sediment coring expeditions, ice sheet coring programs, and other projects allow scientists to reconstruct climate change over much of earth's history. When combined with computer model simulations, paleoclimatic reconstructions are used to test hypotheses about the causes of climatic change, such as greenhouse gases, solar variability, earth's orbital variations, and hydrological, oceanic, and tectonic processes. This book is a comprehensive, state-of-the art synthesis of paleoclimate research covering all geological timescales, emphasizing topics that shed light on modern trends in the earth's climate. Thomas M. Cronin discusses recent discoveries about past periods of global warmth, changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, abrupt climate and sea-level change, natural temperature variability, and other topics directly relevant to controversies over the causes and impacts of climate change. This text is geared toward advanced undergraduate and graduate students and researchers in geology, geography, biology, glaciology, oceanography, atmospheric sciences, and climate modeling, fields that contribute to paleoclimatology. This volume can also serve as a reference for those requiring a general background on natural climate variability.
Earth's climate has undergone dramatic changes over the geologic timescale. At one extreme, Earth has been glaciated from the poles to the equator for periods that may have lasted millions of years. At another, temperatures were once so warm that the Canadian Arctic was heavily forested and large dinosaurs lived on Antarctica. Paleoclimatology is the study of such changes and their causes. Studying Earth's long-term climate history gives scientists vital clues about anthropogenic global warming and how climate is affected by human endeavor. In this book, Michael Bender, an internationally recognized authority on paleoclimate, provides a concise, comprehensive, and sophisticated introduction to the subject. After briefly describing the major periods in Earth history to provide geologic context, he discusses controls on climate and how the record of past climate is determined. The heart of the book then proceeds chronologically, introducing the history of climate changes over millions of years--its patterns and major transitions, and why average global temperature has varied so much. The book ends with a discussion of the Holocene (the past 10,000 years) and by putting manmade climate change in the context of paleoclimate. The most up-to-date overview on the subject, Paleoclimate provides an ideal introduction to undergraduates, nonspecialist scientists, and general readers with a scientific background.
This book provides a synthesis of the past decade of research into global changes that occurred in the earth system in the past. Focus is achieved by concentrating on those changes in the Earth's past environment that best inform our evaluation of current and future global changes and their consequences for human populations. The book stands as a ten year milestone in the operation of the Past Global Changes (PAGES) Project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). It seeks to provide a quantitative understanding of the Eartha (TM)s environment in the geologically recent past and to define the envelope of natural environmental variability against which anthropogenic impacts on the Earth System may be assessed. A set of color overhead transparencies based on the figures in the book is available free on the PAGES website ( for use in teaching and lecturing.
Explaining the what, the how and the why of climate science, this multidisciplinary new book provides a review of research from the last decade, illustrated with cutting-edge data and observations. A key focus is the development of analysis tools that can be used to demonstrate options for mitigating and adapting to increasing climate risks. Emphasis is given to the importance of Earth system feedback mechanisms and the role of the biosphere. The book explains advances in modelling, process understanding and observations, and the development of consistent and coherent studies of past, present and 'possible' climates. This highly illustrated, data-rich book is written by leading scientists involved in QUEST, a major UK-led research programme. It forms a concise and up-to-date reference for academic researchers or students in the fields of climatology, Earth system science and ecology, and also a vital resource for professionals and policymakers working on any aspect of global change.
Paleoclimatology: Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary, Third Edition—winner of a 2015 Textbook Excellence Award (Texty) from The Text and Academic Authors Association—provides a thorough overview of the methods of paleoclimatic reconstruction and of the historical changes in climate during the past three million years. This thoroughly updated and revised edition systematically examines each type of proxy and elucidates the major attributes and the limitations of each. Paleoclimatology, Third Edition provides necessary context for those interested in understanding climate changes at present and how current trends in climate compare with changes that have occurred in the past. The text is richly illustrated and includes an extensive bibliography for further research. Winner of a 2015 Texty Award from the Text and Academic Authors Association A comprehensive overview of the methods of paleoclimate reconstruction, and the record of past changes in climate during the last ~3 million years Addresses all the techniques used in paleoclimatic reconstruction from climate proxies With full-color throughout, and thoroughly revised chapters on dating methods, climate forcing, ice cores, marine sediments, pollen analysis, dendroclimatology, and historical records Includes new chapters on speleothems, loess, and lake sediments More than 1,000 new references and 190 new figures Essential reading for those interested in how present trends in climate compare with changes that have occurred in the past
Climate Change and the Course of Global History presents the first global study by a historian to fully integrate the earth-system approach of the new climate science with the material history of humanity. Part I argues that geological, environmental, and climatic history explain the pattern and pace of biological and human evolution. Part II explores the environmental circumstances of the rise of agriculture and the state in the Early and Mid-Holocene, and presents an analysis of human health from the Paleolithic through the rise of the state, including the Neolithic Demographic Transition. Part III introduces the problem of economic growth and examines the human condition in the Late Holocene from the Bronze Age through the Black Death, assessing the relationships among human technologies, climatic change, and epidemic disease. Part IV explores the move to modernity, stressing the emerging role of human economic and energy systems as earth-system agents in the Anthropocene. Supported by climatic, demographic, and economic data with forty-nine figures and tables custom-made for this book, A Rough Journey provides a pathbreaking model for historians of the environment, the world, and science, among many others.

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