The global climate changes that led to the expansion and contraction of high latitude ice sheets during the Quaternary period were associated with equally dramatic changes in tropical environments. These included shifts in vegetation zones, changes in the hydrology and ecology of lakes and rivers, and fluctuations in the size of mountain glaciers and sandy deserts. Until recently it was thought that such changes were triggered by fluctuations in the distribution of polar ice cover. Now there is increasing recognition that the tropics themselves have acted as drivers of global climate change over a range of timescales.The aim of Quaternary Environmental Change in the Tropics is to provide a synthesis of the changes that occurred in tropical terrestrial and marine systems during the Pleistocene and Holocene, complementing data-derived reconstructions with output from state-of-the-art climate models. It is targeted at final-year undergraduate students and research specialists, but will provide an introduction to tropical Quaternary research for a variety of other readers.

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