In this paper we present a summary of palaeoclimate modelling activities carried out for the mid Pliocene, and demonstrate how a combined data and modelling approach has led to significant advances in our understanding and ‘retrodiction’ of the last great warm period of the Cenozoic Era. The development and refinement of mid Pliocene palaeoenvironmental data sets is discussed, as are the steps that have been taken to increase the sophistication of the modelling effort. Initially, the discussion focuses on the use of atmosphere-only General Circulation Models (AGCMs) and summarises the results produced by such models. We then consider the importance of incorporating slab-ocean, dynamic ocean, mechanistic and dynamic vegetation models with AGCMs. Recent developments are considered and a strategy for further investigation is presented
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