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Paleoclimatology - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9780121240103, 9780080538341

Paleoclimatology, Volume 68

2nd Edition

Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary

Author: Raymond Bradley
Hardcover ISBN: 9780121240103
eBook ISBN: 9780080538341
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 15th February 1999
Page Count: 632
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Table of Contents


Paleoclimatic Reconstruction
Sources of Paleoclimatic information
Levels of Paleoclimatic analysis
Modeling in Paleoclimatic Research

Climate and Climatic Variation
The Nature of Climate and Climatic Variation
The Climate System
Feedback Mechanisms
Energy Balance of the Earth and Its Atmosphere
Timescales of Climatic Variation
Variations of the Earth's Orbital Parameters

Dating Methods I
Introduction and Overview
Radioisotopic Methods

Dating Methods II
Dating Methods involving Chemical Changes
Biological Dating Methods

Ice Cores
Stable Isotope analysis
Dating Ice Cores
Paleoclimatic Reconstruction From Ice Cores

Marine Sediments and Corals
Paleoclimatic Information From Biological Material in Ocean Cores
Oxygen Isotope Studies of Calcareous Marine Fauna
Relative Abundance Studies
Paleotemperature Records From Alkenones
Dissolution of Deep-Sea Carbonates
Paleoclimatic Information From Inorganic Material in Ocean Cores
Coral Records of Past Climate
Thermohaline Circulation of the Oceans
Ocean Circulation Changes and Climate Over the Last Glacial-Interglacial Cycle
Changes in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide: The Role of the Oceans
Orbital Forcing: Evidence From the Marine Record

Non-Marine Geological Evidence
Periglacial Features
Snowlines and Glaciation Thresholds
Mountain Glacier Fluctuations
Lake-Level Fluctuations
Lake Sediments

Non-Marine Biological Evidence
Former Vegetation Distribution From Plant Macrofossils

Pollen analysis
The Basis of Pollen Analysis
How Rapidly Does Vegetation Respond to Changes in Climate?
Pollen Analysis of a Site: The Pollen Diagram
Mapping Vegetation Change: Isopolls and Isochrones
Quantitative Paleoclimatic Reconstructions Based on Pollen analysis
Paleoclimatic Reconstruction From Long Quaternary Pollen Records

Fundamentals of Dendroclimatology
Dendroclimatic Reconstructions
Isotope Dendroclimatology

Documentary Data
Historical Records and Their interpretation
Regional Studies Based on Historical Records
Records Climate Forcing Factors

Paleoclimate Models
Types of Models
Sensitivity Experiments Using General Circulation Models
Model Simulations: 18ka B.P. to the Present
Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Model Experiments of the Thermohaline Circulation
GCM Paleoclimate Simulations and the Paleo Record

Appendix A: Further Considerations on Radiocarbon Dating
Calculation of Radiocarbon Age and Standardization Procedure
Fractionation Effects

World Wide Web-Based Resources in Paleoclimatology




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.

Key Features

@bul:* Contains two up-to-date chapters on dating methods
* Consists of the latest coverage of ice core research, marine sediment and coral studies, continental geological and biological records, pollen analysis, tree rings, and historical records
* Describes the newest methods using alkenones in marine sediments and long continental pollen records
* Addresses all important methods used in paleoclimatic reconstruction
* Includes an extensive chapter on the use of models in paleoclimatology
* Extensive and up-to-date bibliography
* Illustrated with numerous comprehensive figure captions


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.


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1999
15th February 1999
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:


"This thorough, well referenced text will prove to be indispensable to anyone involved in the study of past and current climate change and modeling."

@from:Praise for the first edition:
@qu:"An indispensable work of reference for scientists and students alike."
@source:--Quarternary Science Reviews
@qu:"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."
@source:--Journal of Quarternary Science
@qu:"A book which ought to be read as a primer by anyone with a critical interest in the field."
@source:--Earth Surface Processes and :Landforms
@qu:"Unrivaled in the sophistication with which it examines a wide range of methods."
@source:--K.W. Butzer, Journal of Archeological Science
@qu:"A resounding success... indispensable reading for anyone involved in paleoclimatic reconstruction or paleoclimatic modeling."
@source:--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 University

Ratings and Reviews

About the Author

Raymond Bradley

Raymond S. Bradley has been involved in many national and international activities related to paleoclimatology, most notably as the current Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee for the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program on Past Global Changes (IGBP-PAGES). He has published dozens of articles in scientific journals, and has edited several important books in paleoclimatology. The first edition of Quaternary Paleoclimatology has been the definitive text in this field for over a decade. His research is in climatology, specifically in climatic change and the evidence for how the earth’s climate has varied in the past. He has carried out research on climate variation, both on the long (glacial and interglacial) time-scale and on the short (historical and instrumental) time-scale, involving the analysis of data from all over the world. In recent years he has been involved in studies of natural climate variability, to provide a background for understanding potential anthropogenic changes in climate resulting from rapid increases in "greenhouse gases" over the last century or so. R.S. Bradley has been a professor in the Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA, since 1984. He has been Head of the Department of Geosciences since 1993. Additionally, he is a member of Clare Hall at Cambridge.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA