296 pages, Line illus
In the last ten to fifteen years there has been a movement to break down old disciplinary boundaries in the geosciences in order to develop a more unified view of the earth as an integrated system. Much of this effort has been stimulated by developments in the atmosphere and ocean sciences that study the effect of humanity's impact on the environment. However, solid earth sciences also have a role to play in the Earth System Science/Global Change Programs but efforts to integrate solid and fluid elements of the geosciences have not progressed as rapidly as other elements of these programs. In this book, the authors present examples of how integrating solid earth and climate studies can lead to better understanding of both disciplines. The focus on the role of tectonic boundary conditions for paleoclimate reconstructions. Chapters presenting background material on the impact of tectonic changes on climate will be followed by individual chapters on the "uncertainties" - with respect to orography, geography, timing of ocean gatewary closures, bathymetry, and CO[2 levels in the atmosphere. The book developed from a discussion at the Geodynamics Committee of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources of the United States National Academy of Sciences.
"[T]he focus of Tectonic Boundary Conditions for Climate Reconstructions, is the use of past tectonic configurations derived from field studies as 'boundary conditions' in climate-model experiments. Model simulations using altered tectonic configurations produce quantitative estimates of climates different from those today, and these can be compared against estimates of past climate derived from independent geologic data. Climatic hypotheses must now pass the more rigorous test of quantitative validation by model simulations. . . . Editorially, grammatically, and overall, this volume is generally high in quality, and most chapters are ambitious attempts to engage some aspect of the complex boundary-condition problem."--Eos
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