I attended this meeting last September in Bristol Zoo (yes, time was found to visit the penguins!). The Pliocene (5.33 - 2.6 million years ago) represents a geological time interval with a climate comparable to predictions for the 21st century and provides an opportunity to explore feedbacks and processes in the Earth System that we will be experiencing within the next 100 years. The video on the webpage is a good example of outreach from what was a jam-packed meeting!
My contributions to the study of Pliocene (5.33 - 2.6 million years ago) have been rather small, but I do have a cameo in the video!
The Pliocene epoch was the last sustained interval when global climate was significantly warmer than today. As such it is considered a good potential analogue for the conditions predicted for the end of this century due to anthropogenic climate change. However, the precise dynamics of the climate system as well as the causes of the termination of the Pliocene warmth and the onset of Quaternary climate are still poorly understood.