Florian A. Fladerer, 2000. "Late Quaternary vertebrate taphocoenoses from cave deposits in southeastern Austria: responses in a periglacial setting", Climates: Past and Present, Malcolm B. Hart
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Forty-seven species of birds and at least 78 mammalian taxa from caves in the extant submontane vegetational zone close to the periphery of the Middle and Late Pleistocene Alpine maximum glacial expansion are comprehensively summarized for the first time. The communities of the last glacial period show sympatries of today’s boreal–tundra species with those of East European to Central Asian steppe-communities and to a lesser extent with those of temperate woodlands. Shifts in the individual species’ ranges during the last glacial period (Würm Glacial) can be partly correlated with the climatic fluctuations in the Eastern Alps as they were observed sedimentologically and glaciologically. Analyses of high-resolution uppermost Pleniglacial/Late Glacial taphocoenoses (c. 14–12 ka bp) in the Styrian foothills demonstrate a distinctly greater faunal diversity and reflect more diversified vegetational biota than in the Holocene. The evidence of Middle and Upper Palaeolithic human populations within the region is outlined. The presented results provide a foundation for subsequent and comparative studies in diversity and community changes in the adjacent regions.
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Climates: Past and Present
The climate of the early Earth was probably very warm and has, in general, reduced since the Archean. However, it now seems that the world is about 0.6°C warmer than it was 100 years ago and estimates of the rate of global warming over the next century range from 0.16°C to 0.35°C per decade. Concurrently, global sea-level is predicted to rise from 2.4 to 10 cm per decade. These rates of change are much faster than those normally associated with the geological record, causing geologists and palaeontologists to reassess their data and their forecasts on rates of future change.
With the current interest in global climatic change and, more specifically, with global warming, it is clear that palaeontologists have valuable information to provide on the impacts of past climatic change. This volume contains papers from an international array of such geologists and palaeontologists, showing how studies of micro- and macrofossils, plant and vertebrate fossils from a range of geological ages have contributed to our understanding of how climate affects both local and more widespread areas. The contributions are arranged in geological order, ranging from the Permo-Carboniferous to the post-glacial recovery of the last 18,000 years, with an emphasis on climate change during the last two million years, particularly in NW Europe.
Climates: Past and Present will be of interest to palaeontologists, geologists and palaeoclimatologists who specialize in climatic reconstructions and any professionals enagaged in research into the geological aspects of climate change.