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The Great Ice Age : Climate Change and Life - J. A. Chapman

The Great Ice Age

Climate Change and Life

Paperback

Published: 11th November 1999
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The Great Ice Age documents and explains the natural climatic and palaeoecologic changes that have occurred during the past 2.6 million years, outlining the emergence and global impact of our species during this period. Exploring a wide range of records of climate change, the authors demonstrate the interconnectivity of the components of the Earths climate system, show how the evidence for such change is obtained, and explain some of the problems in collecting and dating proxy climate data.
One of the most dramatic aspects of humanity's rise is that it coincided with the beginnings of major environmental changes and a mass extinction that has the pace, and maybe magnitude, of those in the far-off past that stemmed from climate, geological and occasionally extraterrestrial events. This book reveals that anthropogenic effects on the world are not merely modern matters but date back perhaps a million years or more.

'A useful synthesis of information and ideas on environmental change in the last 3 million years.' - Dr Antoinette Mannion, Reading University

'A very clear and concise update of our present state of knowledge on long term climate and environmental change - perfect primer for advanced courses and essential reading for introductory geography and earth science courses.' - Dr D. J. A. Evans, Glasgow University

List of figuresp. viii
List of boxesp. xv
List of tablesp. xvi
Prefacep. xvii
Cycles of Climatic Change: Evidence and Explanationsp. 1
The Great Ice Agep. 3
Introductionp. 3
Climatic detective workp. 9
A global perspectivep. 16
Colder and drier, warmer and wetterp. 23
Summaryp. 27
Further readingp. 28
Understanding Present and Past Climatesp. 30
Introductionp. 30
Moving heat aroundp. 31
Forcing functions and feedbacksp. 36
The evidencep. 43
Understanding climate changep. 46
Summaryp. 46
Further readingp. 47
Understanding the Cryospherep. 49
Introductionp. 49
How ice sheets workp. 50
How do ice sheets get started?p. 59
The Milankovich theory of ice agesp. 61
Summaryp. 65
Further readingp. 66
The Deep Sea Recordp. 67
Introductionp. 67
Deep sea sedimentsp. 67
Oxygen isotope studiesp. 71
Global changes of sea-levelp. 77
Oxygen isotope stagesp. 79
Post-Cretaceous coolingp. 80
Summaryp. 81
Further readingp. 82
Revealing the Milankovich Pacemakerp. 83
Introductionp. 83
The deep-sea oxygen isotope recordp. 83
Cave depositsp. 91
Dust, monsoons and Milankovichp. 93
The record in ice sheetsp. 99
Summaryp. 111
Further readingp. 112
Evidence for Rapid Climate Changep. 113
Introductionp. 113
North Atlantic iceberg armadasp. 113
Rapid eustatic sea-level changesp. 120
Greenland ice coresp. 121
Millennial scale events in the loess recordp. 131
Millennial scale events in the NE Pacificp. 132
Summaryp. 136
Further readingp. 138
Explanationsp. 139
Introductionp. 139
Post-Cretaceous coolingp. 139
Over the thresholdp. 146
The Mid-Pleistocene revolutionp. 149
The change from 40 thousand year to 100 thousand year cyclicityp. 150
Millennial-scale climate changes and reorganisations of ocean circulationp. 153
What next - when will the present interglacial end?p. 156
Summaryp. 158
Further readingp. 159
Ecological Change and Human Originsp. 161
Climate Change and Life on Landp. 163
Introductionp. 163
Plants and climate changep. 164
Insects as climate indicatorsp. 172
Climate changes at lower latitudesp. 174
Changes in desertsp. 181
Consequences of climate changep. 183
Summaryp. 185
Further readingp. 186
The Record of Humanityp. 187
What is humanity?p. 187
A fragmentary recordp. 188
The first tools and their usersp. 189
The roots of the human evolutionary bushp. 193
Culture and human wavesp. 199
The last 500 thousand yearsp. 204
Our African ancestryp. 208
Summaryp. 211
Further readingp. 213
Changing Environments and Changing Habitsp. 214
Africa's Great Riftp. 214
Out of the treesp. 216
Birth painsp. 218
Times of stress; tools and new opportunitiesp. 219
Changing brains and belliesp. 220
Early human migrations: pathways and barriersp. 222
Climate and humansp. 223
Neanderthals and modern humansp. 224
Modern humans go eastp. 226
The human impact on environmentsp. 228
Summaryp. 234
Further readingp. 235
Human Impact During the Holocenep. 236
Enter economics: the emergence of agriculturep. 236
Direct human impact on Holocene environmentsp. 240
Forward to the past, quickly?p. 248
Summaryp. 251
Further readingp. 252
List of figure sourcesp. 253
Indexp. 260
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415198424
ISBN-10: 0415198429
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 11th November 1999
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.61 x 18.9  x 1.52
Weight (kg): 0.52
Edition Number: 1