Cover image for Paleoclimate, global change, and the future
Paleoclimate, global change, and the future
Alverson, Keith D., 1965-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Berlin ; New York : Springer, [2003]

Physical Description:
xiv, 220 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 28 cm.
The societal relevance of paleoenvironmental research. -- The late quaternary history of atmospheric trace gases and aerosols: interactions between climate and biogeochemical cycles. -- The history of climate dynamics in the late quaternary. -- The late quaternary history of biogeochemical cycling of carbon. -- Terrestrial biosphere dynamics in the climate system: past and future. -- The climate of the last millennium. -- The role of human activities in past environmental change. -- Challenges of a changing Earth: past perspectives, future concerns. -- Appendix A: The Past Global Changes (PAGES) Program. -- Appendix B: The PAGES data system.
Format :


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QC884 .P257 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference

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 This book provides a synthesis of the past decade of research into global changes that occurred in the earth system in the past. Focus is achieved by concentrating on those changes in the Earth's past environment that best inform our evaluation of current and future global changes and their consequences for human populations. The book stands as a ten year milestone in the operation of the Past Global Changes (PAGES) Project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). It seeks to provide a quantitative understanding of the Earth's environment in the geologically recent past and to define the envelope of natural environmental variability against which anthropogenic impacts on the Earth System may be assessed. A set of color overhead transparencies based on the figures in the book is available free on the PAGES website ( for use in teaching and lecturing.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The warming of Earth's surface in the 20th century has been well documented, and in the latter half of the century the warming has been linked to rapidly increasing levels of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But superimposed on the human-caused climate changes are imprints of natural factors such as fluctuations in solar radiation and volcanic eruptions. One challenge to climate scientists has been to understand the full range of natural climate variability in order to place the recent human forcing of climate in a historical context. That context is defined by events of the past. This volume is an excellent summary of recent research into the climate of the past, over four principal time intervals: the past half-million years embracing four glacial-interglacial transitions; the past 10,000 years; the most recent millennium; and the past century. The 47 contributing authors are well-recognized paleoclimate scientists. The unified list of references provides well over a thousand citations, making this volume an extraordinary research resource. The volume is beautifully produced and illustrated, with many figures in color. Some of the figures, particularly those with significant pedagogic value, can be downloaded from the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme Past Global Changes (IGBP/PAGES) Web site . ^BSumming Up: Essential. Graduate students through professionals. H. N. Pollack University of Michigan