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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
CP cover

Climate of the Past (CP) is an international scientific journal dedicated to the publication and discussion of research articles, short communications, and review papers on the climate history of the Earth. CP covers all temporal scales of climate change and variability, from geological time through to multidecadal studies of the last century. Studies focusing mainly on present and future climate are not within scope.


Press release: Climate changes triggered immigration to America in the 19th century

21 Nov 2017

From Trump to Heinz, some of America's most famous family names and brands trace their origins back to Germans who emigrated to the country in the 19th century. Researchers from the University of Freiburg have now found that climate was a major factor in driving migration from Southwest Germany to North America during the 19th century. The results are published today in CP.

Climate of the Past's most prolific editor steps down

15 Nov 2017

Volker Rath, who has been an editor of CP since it started, has decided to step down. He holds the title of CP's most prolific editor, having supervised the passage of at least 88 papers. The CP chief editors want to record huge thanks to him: it is the willingness of our editors to work on papers both within and around their field that enables the success of the journal.

New chief editors for Climate of the Past, and Nerilie Abram suspends editorship for IPCC impartiality

10 Oct 2017

We are pleased to announce the names of two new chief editors for Climate of the Past. One vacancy arises because Nerilie Abram has been appointed as a coordinating lead author for chapter 1 of the IPCC SROCC.

Recent articles

Highlight articles

Regional Antarctic snow accumulation derived from 79 ice core records is evaluated as part of the PAGES Antarctica 2k working group. Our results show that surface mass balance for the total Antarctic ice sheet has increased at a rate of 7 ± 0.13 Gt dec-1 since 1800 AD, representing a net reduction in sea level of ~ 0.02 mm dec-1 since 1800 and ~ 0.04 mm dec-1 since 1900 AD. The largest contribution is from the Antarctic Peninsula.

Elizabeth R. Thomas, J. Melchior van Wessem, Jason Roberts, Elisabeth Isaksson, Elisabeth Schlosser, Tyler J. Fudge, Paul Vallelonga, Brooke Medley, Jan Lenaerts, Nancy Bertler, Michiel R. van den Broeke, Daniel A. Dixon, Massimo Frezzotti, Barbara Stenni, Mark Curran, and Alexey A. Ekaykin

Ice ages are paced by astronomical parameters. On longer timescales, the astronomy also acts on climate, as evidenced by the 400 kyr signature observed in carbon isotopic records. In this paper, I present a conceptual model that links the astronomy to the dynamics of organic carbon in coastal areas. The model reproduces the carbon isotopic records and a two-step decrease in atmospheric CO2 that would explain the Pleistocene (~2.8 Myr BP) and mid-Pleistocene (~0.8 Myr BP) transition.

Didier Paillard

We assembled a very accurate geological timescale from the interval 47.8 to 56.0 million years ago, also known as the Ypresian stage. We used cyclic variations in the data caused by periodic changes in Earthäs orbit around the sun as a metronome for timescale construction. Our new data compilation provides the first geological evidence for chaos in the long-term behavior of planetary orbits in the solar system, as postulated almost 30 years ago, and a possible link to plate tectonics events.

Thomas Westerhold, Ursula Röhl, Thomas Frederichs, Claudia Agnini, Isabella Raffi, James C. Zachos, and Roy H. Wilkens

We present the first record of dust input into an eastern European bog over the past 10 800 years. We find significant changes in past dust deposition, with large inputs related to both natural and human influences. We show evidence that Saharan desertification has had a significant impact on dust deposition in eastern Europe for the past 6100 years.

Jack Longman, Daniel Veres, Vasile Ersek, Ulrich Salzmann, Katalin Hubay, Marc Bormann, Volker Wennrich, and Frank Schäbitz

Understanding the boron isotopic composition of seawater (δ11Bsw) is key to calculating absolute estimates of CO2 using the boron isotope pH proxy. Here we use the boron isotope gradient, along with an estimate of pH gradient, between the surface and deep ocean to show that the δ11Bsw varies by ~ 2 ‰ over the past 23 million years. This new record has implications for both δ11B-CO2 records and understanding changes in the ocean isotope composition of a number of ions through time.

Rosanna Greenop, Mathis P. Hain, Sindia M. Sosdian, Kevin I. C. Oliver, Philip Goodwin, Thomas B. Chalk, Caroline H. Lear, Paul A. Wilson, and Gavin L. Foster

Publications Copernicus