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  • Takes a comprehensive approach to the study of paleoclimatology, with contributions from specialists of each field

  • Describes the climate of the Earth from deep time to the future

  • Covers terrestrial data, paleoceanographic data and ice sheet records

  • Gathers a large variety of different proxies within one book

  • Uses all different techniques from geochronology and proxy data reconstruction to obtain quantitative reconstruction of climate from pole to equator

  • Improves our understanding of the state of the art in modelling each component of the Earth climate system

  • Explores a very large time span in modelling the Earth’s climate from Precambrian to future climate

Part of the book series: Frontiers in Earth Sciences (FRONTIERS)

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  • ISBN: 978-3-030-24982-3
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Table of contents (31 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxiv
  2. The Climate System: Its Functioning and History

    • Sylvie Joussaume, Jean-Claude Duplessy
    Pages 1-22
  3. The Changing Face of the Earth Throughout the Ages

    • Frédéric Fluteau, Pierre Sepulchre
    Pages 23-48
  4. Introduction to Geochronology

    • Hervé Guillou
    Pages 49-50
  5. Carbon-14

    • Martine Paterne, Élisabeth Michel, Christine Hatté et Jean-Claude Dutay
    Pages 51-71
  6. The 40K/40Ar and 40Ar/39Ar Methods

    • Hervé Guillou, Sébastien Nomade, Vincent Scao
    Pages 73-87
  7. Magnetostratigraphy: From a Million to a Thousand Years

    • Carlo Laj, James E. T. Channell, Catherine Kissel
    Pages 101-116
  8. Dendrochronology

    • Frédéric Guibal, Joël Guiot
    Pages 117-122
  9. The Dating of Ice-Core Archives

    • Frédéric Parrenin
    Pages 123-135
  10. Reconstructing the Physics and Circulation of the Atmosphere

    • Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Joël Guiot
    Pages 137-144
  11. Air-Ice Interface: Polar Ice

    • Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Jean Jouzel
    Pages 145-149
  12. Air-Vegetation Interface: Pollen

    • Joël Guiot
    Pages 151-155
  13. Ground-Air Interface: The Loess Sequences, Markers of Atmospheric Circulation

    • Denis-Didier Rousseau, Christine Hatté
    Pages 157-167
  14. Vegetation-Atmosphere Interface: Tree Rings

    • Joël Guiot, Valérie Daux
    Pages 197-203
  15. Air-water Interface: Tropical Lake Diatoms and Isotope Hydrology Modeling

    • Florence Sylvestre, Françoise Gasse, Françoise Vimeux, Benjamin Quesada
    Pages 213-218

About this book

This two-volume book provides a comprehensive, detailed understanding of paleoclimatology beginning by describing the “proxy data” from which quantitative climate parameters are reconstructed and finally by developing a comprehensive Earth system model able to simulate past climates of the Earth. It compiles contributions from specialists in each field who each have an in-depth knowledge of their particular area of expertise.

The first volume is devoted to “Finding, dating and interpreting the evidence”. It describes the different geo-chronological technical methods used in paleoclimatology. Different fields of geosciences such as: stratigraphy, magnetism, dendrochronology, sedimentology, are drawn from and proxy reconstructions from ice sheets, terrestrial (speleothems, lakes, and vegetation) and oceanic data, are used to reconstruct the ancient climates of the Earth.

The second volume, entitled “Investigation into ancient climates,” focuses on building comprehensive models of past climate evolution. The chapters are based on understanding the processes driving the evolution of each component of the Earth system (atmosphere, ocean, ice). This volume provides both an analytical understanding of each component using a hierarchy of models (from conceptual to very sophisticated 3D general circulation models) and a synthetic approach incorporating all of these components to explore the evolution of the Earth as a global system.

As a whole this book provides the reader with a complete view of data reconstruction and modeling of the climate of the Earth from deep time to present day with even an excursion to include impacts on future climate.


  • Climate of the past
  • Geochronology
  • proxy reconstructions
  • terrestrial data
  • paleoceanography
  • ice sheets and glacier records
  • transfer functions
  • climate change

Editors and Affiliations

  • LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France

    Gilles Ramstein, Amaëlle Landais, Nathaelle Bouttes, Pierre Sepulchre, Aline Govin

About the editors

Gilles Ramstein is a director of research at Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE, France). His initial degree is in physics and since 1992 he has specialized in climate modeling.
He has been responsible for many French and European research projects on the Pleistocene, Cenozoic and Precambrian eras. He has also been the advisor of many PhD students who have explored and expanded the frontiers of paleoclimate modeling.
As a climate modeler, he studies very different climate contexts from “Snowball Earth” episodes (717-635 Ma) to more recent, and occasionally future, climate situations.The main research topics he focuses on are:

·         Geological time from the Precambrian to the Cenozoic:

o    Investigation of relationships between tectonics, the carbon cycle and the climate with an emphasis on the impact on the climate and the atmospheric CO2 cycle of major tectonic events such as plate movements, shrinkage of epicontinental seas, mountain range uplift and the opening/closing of seaways. 

o    Leading international collaborations on projects on monsoon evolutions and the dispersal of human ancestors during the Neogene periods.

·         From the Pleistocene to future climate: in this framework, his major interests are interactions between orbital forcing factors, CO2 and climate. More specifically, his focus is on the response of the cryosphere, an important component of the climate system during these periods, with an emphasis on the development of the Greenland ice sheet at the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary and abrupt climate changes driven by ice sheet variations.

He has also published several books and coedited the French version of “Paleoclimatologie” (CNRS Edition) and contributed to an online masters program devoted to educating journalists on climate change (Understanding the interactions between climate, environment and society ACCES).

Amaëlle Landais is a research director at Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE, France). Her initial degree is in physics and chemistry and, since her PhD in 2001, she has specialised in the study of ice cores.      

She has been      responsible for      several French and European research projects on ice cores      working on data acquisition both in the lab and in the field,      interacting extensively with modelers. She has been      the supervisor of 10 PhD students and is deeply committed to      supporting and training      students in      laboratory work.

Her main research interests are the reconstruction of climate variability over the Quaternary and the links between climate and biogeochemical cycles. To improve our understanding of these areas     , she develops geochemical tracers in ice cores (mainly isotopes), performs process studies using      laboratory and field experiments     s and analyses shallow and deep ice cores from polar regions (Greenland and Antarctica). T     hrough numerous collaborations and improvement of ice core dating methods, she tries to establish connections with other paleoclimatic archives of the Quaternary. 

 Nathaelle Bouttes is a research scientist at the Laboratoire des sciences du climat et de l’environnement (LSCE/IPSL). Following the completion of her PhD in 2010 on the glacial carbon cycle, she went to the University of Reading (UK) for a 5-year postdoc on recent and future sea level changes. She then spent a year at Bordeaux (France) with a Marie –Curie Fellowship on interglacials carbon cycle before joining the LSCE in 2016. Since then, she has specialized in understanding glacial-interglacial carbon cycle changes using numerical models and model-data comparison.

 She is mostly using and developing coupled carbon-climate models to understand past changes of the carbon cycle, in particular the evolution of the atmospheric CO2. She has been focusing on the period covered by ice core records, i.e. the last 800 000 years. She uses model-data comparison by directly simulating proxy data such as δ13C to evaluate possible mechanisms for the orbital and millennial changes. She has been involved in several projects covering this topic as well as teaching and supervising PhD students.

Pierre Sepulchre is a CNRS research scientist at the Laboratoire des sciences du climat et de l’environnement (LSCE/IPSL). He completed a PhD on the Miocene climate of Africa in 2007, then went to UC Santa Cruz (USA) for a 2-year postdoctoral position working on the links between the uplift of the Andes and atmospheric and oceanic dynamics. His life-long research project at CNRS is to evaluate the links between tectonics, climate and evolution at the geological timescales, focusing on the last 100 million-years. Through the supervision of PhD students and his collaboration with geologists and evolutionary biologists, he also worked at evaluating paleoaltimetry methods with the use of an isotope-enabled atmospheric general circulation model, as well as linking continental surface deformation, climate and biodiversity in Africa and Indonesia. In the recent years, he led the implementation and validation of a fast version of the IPSL earth system model, that allows running long climate integrations dedicated to paleoclimate studies.

Aline Govin is since 2015 a research associate at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE, Gif sur Yvette, France). She studied Earth Sciences at the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris (France), and obtained in 2008 a PhD thesis in paleoclimatology jointly issued by the University of Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines (France) and the University of Bergen (Norway). Before joining the LSCE, she worked for five years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM, University of Bremen) in Germany.
Her research activities focus on the reconstruction of paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic changes by applying various types of geochemical and sedimentological tracers on marine sediment cores. She has mostly worked on the Earth’s climatic changes of the last 150,000 years, and is an expert of the Last Interglacial climate, which is an excellent case study to investigate the response of the Earth’s climate to past warming conditions that could be encountered in the coming decades. Her research interests include the past variability of the deep North Atlantic circulation, the responses and drivers of tropical monsoon systems (e.g. South American Monsoon), the development and calibration of paleo-tracers, the development of robust chronologies across archives and the quantification of related uncertainties, as well as the comparison of paleo-reconstructions to climate model simulations of past climates.
She has authored around 30 scientific publications, and has been involved in many French, German and other international (e.g. Brazilian) projects.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

USD 129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-24982-3
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD 169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD 249.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)