Recent advances in understanding Antarctic climate evolution

Martin J. Siegert, Peter Barrett, Robert Deconto, Robert Dunbar, Colm Ó Cofaigh, Sandra Passchier, Tim Naish

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Geological evidence shows that the ice sheet and climate in Antarctica has changed considerably since the onset of glaciation around 34 million years ago. By analysing this evidence, important information concerning processes responsible for ice sheet growth and decay can be determined, which is vital for appreciating future changes in Antarctica. Geological records are diverse and their analyses require a variety of techniques. They are, however, essential for the establishment of hypotheses regarding past Antarctic changes. Numerical models of ice and climate are useful for testing such hypotheses, and in recent years there have been several advances in our knowledge relating to ice sheet history gained from these tests. This paper documents five case studies, employing a full range of techniques, to exemplify recent insights into Antarctic climate evolution from modelling ice sheet inception in the earliest Oligocene to quantifying Neogene ice sheet fluctuations and process-led investigations of recent (last glacial) changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-325
Number of pages13
JournalAntarctic Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Cenozoic
  • Environment
  • Glacial history
  • Ice sheet


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