Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary

2nd Edition - February 15, 1999

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  • Author: Raymond Bradley
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080538341

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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.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

    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



Product details

  • No. of pages: 632
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1999
  • Published: February 15, 1999
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080538341

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

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