PANASH - PEP I, II & III transects

The aim of the former PANASH (Paleoclimate and Environments of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres) Focus, (formerly Focus 1) was to reconstruct climate and environments of the past, using a multiproxy data and modeling approach, along three Pole-Equator-Pole (PEP) terrestrial transects:

1. PEP I – transect through the Americas (Leader: Brian Luckman)

2. PEP II – transect through Australasia (Leader: Paul Hesse)

3. PEP III – transect through Europe/Africa (Leader: Thomas Litt)

PANASH and the PEP transects concluded their activities in 2005.

The basis of all PANASH activities was to understand the modes of climatic and environmental variability by answering problem-oriented questions.

One of the major roles of the PEP transects was to facilitate the development of north-south research partnerships and to foster a unified sense of purpose within the diverse international and interdisciplinary community addressing past global change questions.

Primary tasks

1. Document the amplitude, phase and geographic characteristics of climate change in the two hemispheres.

2. Determine the history of potentially important forcing factors.

3. Identify the important feedbacks that amplify or reduce the influence or effect of these forcings.

4. Identify the mechanisms of climatic coupling between the two hemispheres.


The PEP transects were extremely successful in achieving these goals. There was strong community interest in PEP activities and several international workshops and conference sessions were held (e.g., PEP III conference “Past Climate Variability Through Europe and Africa” in Aix-en-Provence, 27-31 August 2001; more than 300 people attended). These meetings were particularly successful in bringing together communities from different regions, including developed and developing countries. PANASH, as a whole, stimulated exchange of information among marine, atmospheric and terrestrial scientists, historical ecologists and environmental archeologists globally.

Selected products

The following extensive peer-reviewed synthesis publications arose from each transect, as well as several issues of PAGES News and PAGES Reports:


- 2000. PANASH, PAGES News, 8:2.

- 1995. PANASH-Paleoclimates of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres: Science and Implementation Plans, PAGES Report 1995-1.

- 2003. Poster summarizing the work of the PANASH focus (link)


- 2001. Markgraf, V., et. al, 2001. Interhemispheric Climate Linkages, Academic Press, 454 pp.

- 1997. PEP I, 1997. PAGES News, 5:1.


- 2004. Rutter, N., et al., 2004. CEAPE: 5th International Conference on the Cenozoic evolution of the Asia-Pacific environment, Quaternary International, 117, 1-166.

- 2004. Dodson, J., et al,. 2004. Climate, human and natural systems of the PEP II transect, Quaternary International, 118-119, 1-203.

- 2001. PEP II Special Issue, PAGES News, 9:2.


- 2004. Battarbee, R., et al., 2004., Past Climate Variability through Europe and Africa, Kluwer, 610 pp.

- 1997. PEP III, PAGES News, 5:2.

- 1997. Gasse, F., Kroepelin, S. & Oldfield, F., 1997. PEP III: report on the Bierville and Siwa Workshops, PAGES Report 1997-2.

Ongoing activities

Although the PANASH project concluded in 2005, related activities are now included in the Focus 2 (Modes of Climate Variability) and Focus 3 (Earth System Dynamics).