A 12-million-year temperature history of the tropical Pacific Ocean

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doi: 10.1126/science.1246172
Author(s): Zhang, Yi Ge; Pagani, Mark; Liu Zhonghui
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Yale University, Department of Geology and Geophysics, New Haven, CT, United States
Other:
University of Hong Kong, China
Volume Title: Science
Source: Science, 344(6179), p.84-87. Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC, United States. ISSN: 0036-8075 CODEN: SCIEAS
Note: In English. 34 refs.; illus., incl. sketch map
Summary: The appearance of permanent El Nino-like conditions prior to 3 million years ago is founded on sea-surface temperature (SST) reconstructions that show invariant Pacific warm pool temperatures and negligible equatorial zonal temperature gradients. However, only a few SST records are available, and these are potentially compromised by changes in seawater chemistry, diagenesis, and calibration limitations. For this study, we establish new biomarker-SST records and show that the Pacific warm pool was ∼4°C warmer 12 million years ago. Both the warm pool and cold tongue slowly cooled toward modern conditions while maintaining a zonal temperature gradient of ∼3°C in the late Miocene, which increased during the Plio-Pleistocene. Our results contrast with previous temperature reconstructions that support the supposition of a permanent El Nino-like state.
Year of Publication: 2014
Research Program: IODP Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Alkaline earth metals; Calcium; Cenozoic; East Pacific; El Nino; Equatorial Pacific; Expedition 321; Expeditions 320/321; Foraminifera; IODP Site U1338; Integrated Ocean Drilling Program; Invertebrata; Leg 124; Leg 130; Leg 138; Leg 184; Leg 198; Magnesium; Metals; Mg/Ca; Microfossils; Neogene; North Pacific; Northeast Pacific; Northwest Pacific; ODP Site 1143; ODP Site 1208; ODP Site 769; ODP Site 806; ODP Site 846; ODP Site 847; ODP Site 850; Ocean Drilling Program; Ontong Java Plateau; Pacific Ocean; Paleo-oceanography; Paleotemperature; Protista; Quaternary; Reconstruction; Sea-surface temperature; Shatsky Rise; South China Sea; South Pacific; Southeast Pacific; Sulu Sea; Tertiary; Tropical environment; West Pacific
Coordinates: N023028 N035000 W1175811 W1231222
N023000 N120500 W1175800 W1421000
N044727 N084709 E1234015 E1204046
N001906 N033626 E1613538 E1563728
S030548 N111326 W0902851 W1103419
N092000 N200500 E1174000 E1131500
N313400 N374800 E1624600 E1571500
Record ID: 2014039262
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