Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary


  • Raymond Bradley, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA

Raymond S. Bradley provides his readers with a comprehensive and up-to-date review of all of the important methods used in paleoclimatic reconstruction, dating and paleoclimate modeling. Two comprehensive chapters on dating methods provide the foundation for all paleoclimatic studies and are followed by up-to-date coverage of ice core research, continental geological and biological records, pollen analysis, radiocarbon dating, tree rings and historical records. New methods using alkenones in marine sediments and coral studies are also described. Paleoclimatology, Second Edition, is an essential textbook for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students studying climatology, paleoclimatology and paleooceanography worldwide, as well as a valuable reference for lecturers and researchers, appealing to archaeologists and scientists interested in environmental change.
View full description


Undergraduates, researchers, lecturers, professionals and classes in archeology, palynology, geology, geosciences, geological research methods, paleoecology, paleooceanography, paleoclimatology, climatology, climate modeling, glaciology, geomorphology, geography, earth sciences, environmental sciences, oceanography, astronomy, meteorology and Quaternary sciences; archeologists, scientists, and government and agency officials who deal with issues of global environmental change.


Book information

  • Published: February 1999
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-124010-3


"An indispensable work of reference for scientists and students alike."
Praise for the first edition:, --Quarternary Science Reviews

"There can be little doubt that overall this book is a great success in the way the information is assimilated, explained and placed in a global context."
--Journal of Quarternary Science
"A book which ought to be read as a primer by anyone with a critical interest in the field."
--Earth Surface Processes and :Landforms
"Unrivaled in the sophistication with which it examines a wide range of methods."
--K.W. Butzer, Journal of Archeological Science
"A resounding success... indispensable reading for anyone involved in paleoclimatic reconstruction or paleoclimatic modeling."
--L.D.D. Harvey, University of Toronto
Published Review As reviewed in CHOICE, October 1999 "Bradley's new edition (1st ed., Quaternary Paleoclimatology, CH, Jul'85) is a thorough update; there is new material on ice cores, better dating, marine sediments, ocean circulations, corals, and paleoclimate models. About 2,000 references are listed, with more than half newer than 1985. This is an excellent compilation of figures and tables covering the entire subject. Many subtopics are of interest to casual readers: El Niños (Ninos) since 1525; extent and seasonal changes in snow-ice cover; paleomagnetism--dates of major reversals in polarity; dust veil index since 1500, corresponding to volcanic activity; information from tree rings; ocean temperatures and salinity affecting the conveyor belt circulation; lake and sea level fluctuations; pollen analysis; and variability in flowering dates of plants and grape harvests. Surprisingly, some climate changes have been rapid and vegetation changes lag behind climate changes by 100 to 150 years. One of the problems in coupled ocean-atmosphere models is that response times for various components vary by six to seven orders of magnitude. This new edition is needed by college libraries. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through faculty." — A. E. Staver, Northern Illinois Universit

Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Paleoclimatic ReconstructionIntroductionSources of Paleoclimatic informationLevels of Paleoclimatic analysisModeling in Paleoclimatic ResearchClimate and Climatic VariationThe Nature of Climate and Climatic VariationThe Climate SystemFeedback MechanismsEnergy Balance of the Earth and Its AtmosphereTimescales of Climatic VariationVariations of the Earth's Orbital ParametersDating Methods IIntroduction and OverviewRadioisotopic MethodsDating Methods IIPaleomagnetismDating Methods involving Chemical ChangesBiological Dating MethodsIce CoresIntroductionStable Isotope analysisDating Ice CoresPaleoclimatic Reconstruction From Ice CoresMarine Sediments and CoralsIntroductionPaleoclimatic Information From Biological Material in Ocean CoresOxygen Isotope Studies of Calcareous Marine FaunaRelative Abundance StudiesPaleotemperature Records From AlkenonesDissolution of Deep-Sea CarbonatesPaleoclimatic Information From Inorganic Material in Ocean CoresCoral Records of Past ClimateThermohaline Circulation of the OceansOcean Circulation Changes and Climate Over the Last Glacial-Interglacial CycleChanges in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide: The Role of the OceansOrbital Forcing: Evidence From the Marine RecordNon-Marine Geological EvidenceIntroductionLoessPeriglacial FeaturesSnowlines and Glaciation ThresholdsMountain Glacier FluctuationsLake-Level FluctuationsLake SedimentsSpeleothemsNon-Marine Biological EvidenceIntroductionFormer Vegetation Distribution From Plant MacrofossilsInsectsPollen analysisIntroductionThe Basis of Pollen AnalysisHow Rapidly Does Vegetation Respond to Changes in Climate?Pollen Analysis of a Site: The Pollen DiagramMapping Vegetation Change: Isopolls and IsochronesQuantitative Paleoclimatic Reconstructions Based on Pollen analysisPaleoclimatic Reconstruction From Long Quaternary Pollen RecordsDendroclimatologyIntroductionFundamentals of DendroclimatologyDendroclimatic ReconstructionsIsotope DendroclimatologyDocumentary DataIntroductionHistorical Records and Their interpretationRegional Studies Based on Historical RecordsRecords Climate Forcing FactorsPaleoclimate ModelsIntroductionTypes of ModelsSensitivity Experiments Using General Circulation ModelsModel Simulations: 18ka B.P. to the PresentCoupled Ocean-Atmosphere Model Experiments of the Thermohaline CirculationGCM Paleoclimate Simulations and the Paleo Record Appendix A: Further Considerations on Radiocarbon DatingCalculation of Radiocarbon Age and Standardization ProcedureFractionation Effects World Wide Web-Based Resources in Paleoclimatology References Index