Central to the understanding of global environmental change is an appreciation of how the Antarctic Ice Sheet interacts with climate. To comprehend the processes involved one must look into the geological record for evidence ofpast changes. For several decades international efforts have been made to determine the glacial and climate history of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Much of this information derives from studies of sedimentary sequences drilled in and around the continent. In addition, there have been numerous terrestrial geological expeditions to the mountains exposed above the ice surface usually close to the margin of the ice sheet. Holistic interpretation of these data is now being made, and hypotheses on the size and timing of past changes in Antarctica are being developed. In 2004, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) commissioned a scientific research programme on Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE) to quantify the glacial and climate history of Antarctica. This book is a result of that programme, and documents, for the first time, the state of knowledge concerning the ice and climate evolution of the Antarctic continent and its surrounding seas through the Cenozoic era.

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