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Observing the past to better understand the future: a synthesis of the Neogene climate in Europe and its perspectives on present climate change

G. A. Prista, R. Agostinho, M. A. Cachão

A review of the entire Neogene climate in Europe is a useful tool for climate researchers, synthesizing present day knowledge on a variety of past warmer climate modes thus facilitating the debate regarding possible future climate scenarios in the Old Continent. This work centres on the European scenario, debating possible future projections and describing the Miocene and Pliocene climate in the Old Continent. With present evidences of a global warming scenario, it is highly important that we look at past climatic events in order to better predict future climate changes impact in biodiversity. The review presented here synthesizes the literature regarding climate, faunal and floral evolution for the European Neogene, and aims to help palaeoclimatic researchers and climatologists to characterize some of the boundary conditions for modelling possible analogous of IPPC climate scenarios. If the future climate projections come to be true, it is shown that the Pliocene, and particularly the Mid Piacenzian Warm Period, should be considered as the best analogue for the impact of a warming climate in Europe.

Neogene, Climate Change, Climate Events, Europe, Climate Analogue

Open Geosciences
Volume 7, Number 7
2015 January

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia