Antarctic Climate Evolution

Antarctic Climate Evolution

2nd Edition - October 27, 2021

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  • Editors: Fabio Florindo, Martin Siegert, Laura De Santis, Tim Naish
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128191101
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128191095

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Antarctic Climate Evolution, Second Edition, enhances our understanding of the history of the world’s largest ice sheet, and how it responded to and influenced climate change during the Cenozoic. It includes terrestrial and marine geology, sedimentology, glacier geophysics and ship-borne geophysics, coupled with results from numerical ice sheet and climate modeling. The book’s content largely mirrors the structure of the Past Antarctic Ice Sheets (PAIS) program (, formed to investigate past changes in Antarctica by supporting multidisciplinary global research. This new edition reflects recent advances and is updated with several new chapters, including those covering marine and terrestrial life changes, ice shelves, advances in numerical modeling, and increasing coverage of rates of change. The approach of the PAIS program has led to substantial improvement in our knowledge base of past Antarctic change and our understanding of the factors that have guided its evolution.

Key Features

  • Offers an overview of Antarctic climate change, analyzing historical, present-day and future developments
  • Provides the latest information on subjects ranging from terrestrial and marine geology to sedimentology and glacier geophysics in the context of Antarctic evolution
  • Fully updated to include expanded coverage of rates of change, advances in numerical modeling, marine and terrestrial life changes, ice shelves, and more


Researchers in glaciology, climate change, and paleoclimatology; researchers in sedimentology, climate change, environmental science, and oceanography; students in climate change/glaciology

Table of Contents

  • Cover image
  • Title page
  • Table of Contents
  • Copyright
  • List of contributors
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1. Antarctic Climate Evolution – second edition
  • Abstract
  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.2 Structure and content of the book
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Chapter 2. Sixty years of coordination and support for Antarctic science – the role of SCAR
  • Abstract
  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Scientific value of research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean
  • 2.3 The international framework in which SCAR operates
  • 2.4 The organisation of SCAR
  • 2.5 Sixty years of significant Antarctic science discoveries
  • 2.6 Scientific Horizon Scan
  • 2.7 Summary
  • References
  • Appendix
  • Chapter 3. Cenozoic history of Antarctic glaciation and climate from onshore and offshore studies
  • Abstract
  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Long-term tectonic drivers and ice sheet evolution
  • 3.3 Global climate variability and direct evidence for Antarctic ice sheet variability in the Cenozoic
  • 3.4 Regional seismic stratigraphies and drill core correlations, and future priorities to reconstruct Antarctica’s Cenozoic ice sheet history
  • 3.5 Summary, future directions and challenges
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Chapter 4. Water masses, circulation and change in the modern Southern Ocean
  • Abstract
  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Water masses – characteristics and distribution
  • 4.3 Southern Ocean circulation
  • 4.4 Modern Southern Ocean change
  • 4.5 Concluding remarks
  • References
  • Chapter 5. Advances in numerical modelling of the Antarctic ice sheet
  • Abstract
  • 5.1 Introduction and aims
  • 5.2 Advances in ice sheet modelling
  • 5.3 Model input – bed data
  • 5.4 Advances in knowledge of bed processes
  • 5.5 Model intercomparison
  • 5.6 Brief case studies
  • 5.7 Future work
  • References
  • Chapter 6. The Antarctic Continent in Gondwana: a perspective from the Ross Embayment and Potential Research Targets for Future Investigations
  • Abstract
  • 6.1 Introduction
  • 6.2 The Antarctic plate and the present-day geological setting of the Ross Embayment
  • 6.3 East Antarctica
  • 6.4 West Antarctic Accretionary System
  • 6.5 Mesozoic to Cenozoic Tectonic Evolution of the Transantarctic Mountains
  • 6.6 Tectonic evolution in the Ross Sea Sector during the Cenozoic
  • 6.7 Concluding remarks, open problems and potential research themes for future geoscience investigations in Antarctica
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Chapter 7. The Eocene-Oligocene boundary climate transition: an Antarctic perspective
  • Abstract
  • 7.1 Introduction
  • 7.2 Background
  • 7.3 Antarctic Sedimentary Archives
  • 7.4 Summary of climate signals from Antarctic sedimentary archives
  • 7.5 The global context of Earth and climate system changes across the EOT
  • 7.6 Summary
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Chapter 8. Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics during the Late Oligocene and Early Miocene: climatic conundrums revisited
  • Abstract
  • 8.1 Introduction
  • 8.2 Oligocene-Miocene Transition in Antarctic geological records and its climatic significance
  • 8.3 Conundrums revisited
  • 8.4 Concluding remarks
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Chapter 9. Antarctic environmental change and ice sheet evolution through the Miocene to Pliocene – a perspective from the Ross Sea and George V to Wilkes Land Coasts
  • Abstract
  • 9.1 Introduction
  • 9.2 Records of Miocene to Pliocene climate and ice sheet variability from the Antarctic margin
  • 9.3 Numerical modelling
  • 9.4 Synthesis/summary of key climate episodes and transitions in Antarctica through the Miocene and Pliocene
  • 9.5 Next steps
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Chapter 10. Pleistocene Antarctic climate variability: ice sheet, ocean and climate interactions
  • Abstract
  • 10.1 Background and motivation
  • 10.2 Archives of Pleistocene Antarctic climate and climate-relevant processes
  • 10.3 Records of global and Southern Ocean climate during the Pleistocene
  • 10.4 Late Pleistocene carbon cycle and climate dynamics
  • 10.5 Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics in the late Pleistocene
  • 10.6 Antarctica during earlier Pleistocene climate states
  • 10.7 Future research on Antarctica in the Pleistocene
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Chapter 11. Antarctic Ice Sheet changes since the Last Glacial Maximum
  • Abstract
  • 11.1 Introduction
  • 11.2 Response of the ice sheets to glacial climate and late Quaternary ice sheet reconstructions
  • 11.3 Constraining late Quaternary ice sheet extent, volume and timing
  • 11.4 Last interglacial (Eemian, ~130–116 ka)
  • 11.5 Last Glacial Maximum, subsequent deglaciation and the Holocene (~20–0 ka)
  • 11.6 Discussion: pattern and timing of post-LGM ice retreat and thinning
  • 11.7 Summary
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Chapter 12. Past Antarctic ice sheet dynamics (PAIS) and implications for future sea-level change
  • Abstract
  • 12.1 Research focus of the PAIS programme
  • 12.2 Importance of evolving topography, bathymetry, erosion and pinning points
  • 12.3 Reconstructions of Southern Ocean sea and air surface temperature gradients
  • 12.4 Extent of major Antarctic glaciations
  • 12.5 Antarctic ice sheet response to past climate warmings
  • 12.6 Antarctica and global teleconnections: the bipolar seesaw
  • 12.7 The PAIS legacy: bridging the past and the future
  • 12.8 Coauthors from the PAIS community
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Further reading
  • Chapter 13. The future evolution of Antarctic climate: conclusions and upcoming programmes
  • Abstract
  • 13.1 Introduction: the past is key to our future
  • 13.2 Upcoming plans and projects
  • 13.3 Conclusions
  • References
  • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 804
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2021
  • Published: October 27, 2021
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128191101
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128191095

About the Editors

Fabio Florindo

Fabio Florindo is the Research Director at Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Italy, as well as an adjunct research fellow and the CNR Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering, Italy and the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. His research interests include paleomagnetism and environmental magnetism with applications to paleoclimate, paleoceanography, geomagnetic field behavior, and tectonics. Since 2000 he has been one of the principal investigators in ANDRILL (ANtarctic geological DRILLing), a multinational initiative to investigate Antarctica's role in Cenozoic-Recent global environmental change through stratigraphic drilling for Antarctic climatic, volcanic and tectonic history. In 2000, he received the National Science Foundation Antarctic Service Medal "in recognition of valuable contributions to exploration and Scientific achievement under the U.S. Antarctic Research Program". He has authored over 175 articles and book chapters.

Affiliations and Expertise

Research Director, National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Rome, Italy

Martin Siegert

Martin Siegert is the Head of the School of GeoSciences at The University of Edinburgh, which he joined in August 2006. He joined the Bristol Glaciology Centre as a lecturer in January, 1999 and became its Director in 2005. He was a lecturer in the Centre for Glaciology, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, between 1994 and 1998. His research interests include glaciology and quaternary science, the study and exploration of Antarctic subglacial lakes, and Antarctic climate evolution, particularly using geophysical data and modelling to understand past changes to the ice sheet. He has published over 200 articles and book chapters.

Affiliations and Expertise

co-Director of the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, UK

Laura De Santis

Laura de Santis is a Researcher at Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica and a Lecturer at the University of Trieste in Italy. She has been a researcher and lecturer at several other institutions globally, including Rice University, USA, Victoria University, New Zealand, the Australian Geophysical Survey Organization, the United States Geological Survey, and the University of Parma, Italy. Her research interests primarily involve geology and geophysics of the Polar continental margins.

Affiliations and Expertise

Researcher, National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics OGS, Trieste, Italy

Tim Naish

Tim Naish is Professor in Earth Sciences at the Antarctic Research Centre and the NZ/Australia Representative on the Science Evaluation Panel of the International Ocean Discovery Programme. His research interests include paleoclimatology, sequence stratigraphy and sedimentology, reconstruction of past sea-level and ice volume variability, and Earth system data and numerical modeling. He has been involved in many global research projects and committees, including serving as the lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change AR5, WG1 and as the Chair of the International ANDRILL Science Committee. He has received several awards; most recently, the Martha T. Muse Prize in 2014 for outstanding research into understanding Antarctica’s past and present climate change and the New Zealand Antarctic Medal in 2010 for services to Antarctic climate science.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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