This book is a collection of papers focusing on the analytical techniques and use of numerical models in paleoclimatic research. The purpose of this book is to review the biologic and geologic quantitative evidence of climate change, the data sources available, the interpretation of the data as a means of climatic reconstruction, and the use of numerical models as a means of investigating the causality of climate change. Ten chapters are presented, each dealing with a specific analytical technique and each written by a recognized leader in his or her research field.
In chapter 1, Hecht provides an introduction to the volume and reviews the major advances in paleoclimatology during the past 20 years. Included is a discussion of the use of various isotopes as indicators of climate change and the utilization of transfer functions derived from the pollen, tree ring, and foraminifera records in the quantitative reconstruction of past climates. The results of the Climate: Long-Range Investigation, Mapping, and Prediction (CLIMAP) glacial reconstruction are summarized, as are advances in the ice core record and the use of climate models to simulate conditions in the geologic past.