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Tropical ocean temperatures over the past 3.5 million years
Herbert, T.D.; Peterson, L.C.; Lawrence, K.T.; Liu, Z. (2010). Tropical ocean temperatures over the past 3.5 million years. Science (Wash.) 328(5985): 1530-1534
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Herbert, T.D.
  • Peterson, L.C.
  • Lawrence, K.T.
  • Liu, Z.

Abstract
    Determining the timing and amplitude of tropical sea surface temperature (SST) change is an important part of solving the puzzle of the Plio-Pleistocene ice ages. Alkenone-based tropical SST records from the major ocean basins show coherent glacial-interglacial temperature changes of 1° to 3°C that align with (but slightly lead) global changes in ice volume and deep ocean temperature over the past 3.5 million years. Tropical temperatures became tightly coupled with benthic 18O and orbital forcing after 2.7 million years. We interpret the similarity of tropical SST changes, in dynamically dissimilar regions, to reflect "top-down" forcing through the atmosphere. The inception of a strong carbon dioxide–greenhouse gas feedback and amplification of orbital forcing at ~2.7 million years ago connected the fate of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets with global ocean temperatures since that time.

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