Principles of Paleoclimatology

Thomas M. Cronin

Columbia University Press

Principles of Paleoclimatology

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Pub Date: July 1999

ISBN: 9780231109550

592 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $60.00£49.95

Pub Date: July 1999

ISBN: 9780231109543

592 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $150.00£124.95

Pub Date: July 1999

ISBN: 9780231503044

592 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $59.99£49.95

Principles of Paleoclimatology

Thomas M. Cronin

Columbia University Press

Greenhouse gases, global warming, thinning ozone layers—understanding the Earth's climatic changes is one of today's most pressing international concerns. How fast has the climate changed? Where and why is it changing? What is the impact of climate change on our ecosystems, coastal regions, glaciers, forests, and lakes, and even on the evolution of our own species?

This introduction to the rapidly emerging field of paleoclimatology explains the patterns and processes in the history of the Earth's climate to answer such essential questions. Using the geologic records of ocean and lake sediment, ice cores, corals, and other natural archives, Principles of Paleoclimatology describes the history of the Earth's climate—the ice age cycles, sea level changes, volcanic activity, changes in atmosphere and solar radiation—and the resulting, sometimes catastrophic, biotic responses. These paleoclimate records provide a baseline against which we can compare modern climate trends. Designed to give a fundamental background—including both history and methodology—to the discipline of paleoclimatology, this book is the first to advance our understanding of how climate change develops, how those changes are detected, and how the climate of the past can shape the climate of the future.
1. Contemporary Issues in Climate Change: The Role of Paleoclimatology
Models and Observations
Paleoclimatology: The Time Dimension
Early Thoughts and Contemporary Sources
A Brief Outline of This Book
2. Principles of Paleoclimatology
Introduction: A Multidisciplinary Approach in Paleoclimatology
Defining the Principles of Paleoclimatology
Causes of Climate Change: The Climate System
"Time is of the essence''
Strategies to Study Climate History
The Development of an Annual-Resolution Deglacial Chronology
Proxies of Climate
The Evolution of Glacial-Age Climatology
3. Vital Effects: Biological Aspects of Paleoclimatology
Biological Principles in Paleoclimatology
A Conceptual Framework of Biology and Climate Change
Scale in Paleoclimatology
Real Biological Entities or Heuristic Constructs?
Biological Concepts in Paleoclimatology
Summary
4. Orbital Climate Change
The Jia-Li Monument
Early Development of Orbital Theory
Support for Orbital Theory from Geochronology
The Deep-Sea Record of Orbital Climate Change
Fundamental Tenets of Modern Orbital Theory
Geologic and Biotic Evidence for Orbital Climate Change
Challenges to Orbital Theory
Modeling Orbital Climate Change
Closing Comments
5. Millennial-Scale Climate Change
Dryas octopetala
Early Evidence for Rapid Climate Change
Ice and Millennial-Scale Climate Change
The Younger Dryas and Other Rapid Climate Events During Deglaciation
Heinrich Events and Dansgaard-Oeschger Cycles: Millennial-Scale Climate Change During Glacial Periods
The Eemian: Climatic Variability During the Last Interglacial Period
Summary
6. Holocene Centennial and Decadal Climatic Variability
Polar Bears and Potatoes: Human History and Holocene Climate
Classical Holocene Climate Chronology
Early and Middle Holocene Climatic History
Late Holocene Climate History
Forcing Mechanisms of Centennial and Decadal Holocene Climate
Concluding Remarks
7. Interannual Climate Change in the Tropics: ENSO
La Corriente del Nino
Interannual Paleoclimatology
Aspects of Modern El Nino--Southern Oscillation
Paleoclimate Records of Tropical Seasonal and Interannual Climate
Goddard Institute of Space Studies General Circulation Model of Isotopic Response to Interannual Climate
8. Sea-Level Change
By Land or by Sea?
Early Concepts of Sea-Level Change
Geological Geochemical, Geophysical, and BiologicalEvidence for Sea-Level Change
Processes Affecting Sea-Level Change
Cenozoic Sea Level: Tectono-eustasy Versus Glacio-eustasy
Quaternary Sea-Level History
Historical Sea-Level Change
Summary
9. Paleo-Atmospheres: The Ice-Core Record of Climate Change
Atmospheric Change: Human and Natural Factors
The Ice-Core Record of Paleo-atmospheres and Climate Change
"One Thousand Centuries:'' The Camp Century Climate Record
Climate Proxies from Ice Cores
The Dating and Correlation of Ice Cores
Glacial-Interglacial Climate Carbon Dioxide, and Methane
Millennial-Scale Atmospheric Variability and Climate Change
The "Flickering Switch'' of Climate
Mechanisms of Climate Change

About the Author

Thomas M. Cronin is an adjunct professor in the Department of Geography and Earth Systems Science at George Mason University in Virginia. He is also a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.