The Climate of the early earth was probably very warm and has, in general, reduced since the Archean. However, it seems that the world is about 0.6ºC warmer than it was 100 years ago and estimates of the rate of global warming over the next century range from 0.16ºC to 0.35ºC per decade. Concurrently, global sea-level is predicted to rise from 2.4 to 10cm per decade. These rates of change are much faster than those normally associated with the geological record, causing geologists and palaeontologists to reassess their data and their forecasts on rates of future change. With the current interest in global climatic change and, more specifically, with global warming, it is clear that palaeontologists have valuable information to provide on the impacts of past climatic change.
This volume contains papers from an international array of such geologists and palaeontologists, showing how studies of micro- and macrofossils, plant and vertebrate fossils from a range of geological ages have contributed to our understanding of how climate affects both local and more widespread areas. The contributions are arranged in geological order, ranging from the Permo-Carboniferous to the post-glacial recovery of the last 18,000 years, with an emphasis on climate change during the last two million years, particularly in NW Europe.