Eocene and Cretaceous climate-model experiments demonstrate that regardless of conditions of warm polar oceans, differences in pole-to-equator surface-temperature gradient, or topography, above-freezing surface temperatures in winter for continental interiors at middle to high latitudes cannot be maintained. Continental interiors will have cold winter temperatures, even during globally warm periods, unless currently unrecognized forcing factors influenced past climates. If model simulations of Eocene and Cretaceous climates are accurate, the term "equable," as it applies to paleoclimate, should be reconsidered.

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