||Here we summarize the motivation and issues surrounding the responses of ice sheets and sea level to past climate warming as part of the PALeo constraints on SEA level rise (PALSEA) working group. Papers in this special issue of Quaternary Science Reviews focus on the timescale of glaciations during the late Pliocene, the magnitude of ice-sheet fluctuations and volume leading up to and during the last glacial maximum, the timing and persistence of ice-sheet impacts on deglacial and future relative sea-level change, and relative sea-level change during peak interglacial climate. A more dynamic cryosphere is noted under both late Pliocene and last glacial cycle climate conditions, while relative sea-level changes during the last deglaciation appear to correspond closely with individual ice-sheet deglaciation. Lastly, relative sea-level change during peak interglacial conditions may have fluctuated by as much as a meter, although the sources of such variability (Greenland, Antarctica or elsewhere) remain elusive. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.