During the Pliocene epoch climate became cooler and drier, and seasonal, similar to modern climate.
The global average temperature in the mid-Pliocene (3.3 mya - 3 mya) was 2-3°C higher than today, global sea level 25 m higher and Northern hemisphere ice sheet ephemeral before the onset of extensive glaciation over Greenland that occurred in the late Pliocene around 3 Ma. The formation of an Arctic ice cap is signaled by an abrupt shift in oxygen isotope ratios and ice-rafted cobbles in the North Atlantic and North Pacific ocean beds. Mid-latitude glaciation was probably underway before the end of the epoch. The global cooling that occurred during the Pliocene may have spurred on the disappearance of forests and the spread of grasslands and savannas.
Read more about this topic: Pliocene
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