3rd Edition

Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary

Print ISBN: 9780123869135
eBook ISBN: 9780123869951
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 20th February 2014
Page Count: 696
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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.

Key Features

  • 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


Advanced undergraduate and graduate students and researchers in climatology, Quaternary sciences, glaciology, archaeology, paleo-oceanography, paleoecology, geomorphology, and palynology.

Table of Contents



Front Cover Photograph

Holocene Rock Art from the Northwestern Flanks of the Ennedi Highlands, Eastern Sahara, Chad



Preface to the Third Edition

Chapter 1. Paleoclimatic Reconstruction


1.1 Introduction

1.2 Sources of Paleoclimatic Information

1.3 Levels of Paleoclimatic Analysis

1.4 Modeling in Paleoclimatic Research


Chapter 2. Climate and Climatic Variation


2.1 The Nature of Climate and Climatic Variation

2.2 The Climate System

2.3 Feedback Mechanisms

2.4 Energy Balance of the Earth and Its Atmosphere

2.5 Timescales of Climatic Variation

2.6 Variations of the Earth’s Orbital Parameters

2.7 Solar Forcing

2.8 Volcanic Forcing


Chapter 3. Dating Methods I


3.1 Introduction and Overview

3.2 Radioisotopic Methods


Chapter 4. Dating Methods II


4.1 Paleomagnetism

4.2 Dating Methods Involving Chemical Changes

4.3 Tephrochronology

4.4 Biological Dating Methods


Chapter 5. Ice Cores


5.1 Introduction

5.2 Stable Isotope Analysis

5.3 Dating Ice Cores

5.4 Paleoclimatic Reconstruction from Ice Cores


Chapter 6. Marine Sediments


6.1 Introduction

6.2 Paleoclimatic Information from Biological Material in Ocean Cores

6.3 Oxygen Isotope Studies of Calcareous Marine Fauna

6.4 Paleotemperatures from Relative Abundance Studies

6.5 Paleotemperature Reconstruction from Sediment Geochemistry

6.6 Oceanographic Conditions at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM)

6.7 Paleoclimatic Information from Inorganic Material in Marine Sediments


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© Academic Press 2015
Academic Press
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2015 Textbook Excellence Award – 2nd or Later Edition: Physical Sciences, Text and Academic Authors Association


"It is difficult to conceive of the vast amount of work that must have gone into this comprehensive revision, and it is a great service to the international Quaternary research community."-The Holocene

"The book has been thoroughly updated since the previous edition... Valuable for specialist collections...Summing Up: Recommended. With reservations." -CHOICE Reviews Online, Nov 01 2014