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This volume contains a series of papers that collectively summarise evidence for climate change in Africa and Europe over approximately the last 200,000 years. It is a product of PEP III, the pole-equator-pole transect through Europe and Africa, that has been defined by the IGBP-PAGES project for palaeoclimate study along with PEP II (Asia-Australasia) and PEP I, the Americas (Fig. 1). The PEP transects focus on two time intervals, time-stream 1, the Holocene (with an emphasis on the last 2000 years), and time-stream 2, the last two glacial cycles. The principal long-term objectives of PEP III are (i) to understand how and why climate has varied in the past along the transect; (ii) to assess how climate change and variability has affected natural ecosystems and human society in the past; and (iii) to provide a basis both for developing and testing climate models that are needed to forecast climate change in the future. The specific papers contained in this volume were presented at a conference on “Climate Variability through Europe and Africa” held in Aix-en-Provence in August, 2001. The volume presents an attempt to bring together in a coherent way our present understanding of past climate change along the PEP III transect, providing a basis for the future work needed to make progress towards these objectives.
This publication also complements other related syntheses that overview the scientific achievements of the PAGES community over the last decade, notably for the PAGES programme as a whole (Alverson et al. 2003), and for the PEP III sister transect, PEP I (Markgraf 2001) and PEP II (Dodson et al. 2004).
KeywordsNorth Atlantic Oscillation Glacial Cycle Past Climate Change Forecast Climate Change Eemian Interglacial
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