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AuthorsBarrett, P. J.* 
Florindo, F.* 
Cooper, A. K.* 
TitleIntroduction to 'Antarctic climate evolution: View from the margin'
Other TitlesEditorial
Issue Date9-Feb-2006
Series/Report no.1 / 231 (2006)
KeywordsAntarctic climate evolution
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.06. Paleoceanography and paleoclimatology 
AbstractThis special issue on "Antarctic Climate Evolution — view from the margin" presents results from modelling studies and reports on geoscience data aimed at improving our understanding of the behaviour of the Antarctic ice sheet and the climate of the region. This research field is of interest because of the sensitivity of the polar regions to global warming, and because of the influence of the Antarctic ice sheet on global sea level and climate through most if not all of the Cenozoic Era. The Antarctic ice sheet both responds to and forces changes on global climate and sea level. We need to be aware of the scale and frequency of these changes if we are to understand past patterns of environmental change elsewhere on earth. It was only three decades ago that we discovered from strata drilled in shelf basins on the Antarctic margin that the Antarctic ice sheet had a history that predated the Quaternary ice ages by over 20 million years (Hayes et al., 1975). Later that year the first interpretation of Antarctic glacial history through the Cenozoic Era from oxygen isotopes, recorded in foraminifera from deep-sea sediment cores, was published (Shackleton and Kennett, 1975). Revisions with a more extensive database have modified the story a little (Miller et al., 1987; Zachos et al., 2001), and there have been recent attempts to resolve the temperature–ice volume ambiguity (Lear et al., 2000). However, reports on strata drilled on the Antarctic margin have unambiguously shown the character of this huge ice sheet, which was oscillating in the Oligocene (Barrett et al., 1987; Barrett, 1999) with a period and magnitude comparable with the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets of the Quaternary (Naish et al., 2001a,b). In this issue we present further research on the history of the Antarctic ice sheet from Oligocene to recent times, most of them from the Antarctic margin, but with some on the nature of the deep-sea isotope record, and others using recently developed modeling techniques to investigate the influence of atmosphere, ocean and biosphere on past Antarctic climate. This special issue is the third in three years on the theme of Antarctic Climate Evolution. The first followed a workshop in Erice, Sicily, in 2001 to report on results from ANTOSTRAT, a SCAR-sponsored project for gathering and analysing circum-Antarctic seismic data for planning and promoting offshore drilling for climate history. The introduction to that issue (Florindo et al., 2003) provides a review of the recent history of circum-Antarctic drilling by the Ocean Drilling Program (Legs 113, 114, 119, 120, 177, 178, 188 and 189) and the Cape Roberts Project. For a more comprehensive review of earlier drilling in the Ross Sea region (Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 28, Dry Valley Drilling Project, McMurdo Sound Sediment and Tectonic Studies, Cenozoic Investigations in the western Ross Sea) see Hambrey and Barrett (1993). The first of these issues (Florindo et al., 2003) featured a global plate reconstruction of the Southern Hemisphere through Cenozoic time with emphasis on evolution of Cenozoic seaways (Lawver and Gahagan, 2003) along with a study of the inception and early evolution of the EAIS using a new coupled global climate (GCM)– dynamic ice sheet model (DeConto and Pollard, 2003b), as well as data from recent drilling around the margin covering time period from Cretaceous to the present. A second special issue on the same theme (Florindo et al., 2005) also featured a mix of modelling and data papers with a focus on the Eocene–Oligocene boundary and the initiation of ice sheet growth, including a pioneering attempt to evaluate the relative influence of fluvial versus glacial processes in shaping the landscape of the Prydz Bay sector of Antarctica (Jamieson et al., 2005). The remainder of the issue comprised further papers on seismic stratigraphy and reports from drilling around the margin. The papers to be found in this special issue, like the previous two, maintain the mix of modelling- and data-oriented papers that reflect the range of this research.
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