The Cretaceous and Paleogene periods have long been recognized as globally warm ‘greenhouse’ episodes in Earth history, and have consequently been used as analogues for future global warming. The polar regions are considered to be most sensitive to climate fluctuations and therefore research efforts in these areas are attracting interest from a wide audience. The recent increase in the British government’s interest in climate change issues and the global debate on the subject means that this Geological Society Special Publication is extremely timely.

The editors’ introduction provides an historical background to the exploration of the James Ross Basin and outlines...

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