This book provides a major synthesis of evidence for past climate variability at the regional and continental scale across Europe and Africa. It focuses on two complementary time-scales, the Holocene (approximately the last 11,500 years) and the last glacial-interglacial cycle (approximately the last 130,000 years). An overview of the climate system of the past has never been attempted before on this scale, and, as such, the volume represents a benchmark for future research. It is written by an expert group of climate change scientists and presents an insight into past climate variability that challenges climatologists who seek to explain climate dynamics of the past and provides climate modellers with a work of reference for data-model comparison. The book is an advanced but very readable text essential for all students and scientists interested in global environmental change.