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Deep-Sea Temperature and Ice Volume Changes Across the Pliocene-Pleistocene Climate Transitions


Glacial Maximum ice sheet extent

Deep-Sea Temperature and Ice Volume Changes Across the Pliocene-Pleistocene Climate Transitions

Science
Vol. 325, pp. 306 - 310, 17 July 2009.
DOI: 10.1126/science.1169938

Sindia Sosdian1 and Yair Rosenthal

Institute of Marine and Coastal Science and
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA

1Present address:
Research School of Earth Sciences
Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 0200, Australia
ABSTRACT:
Earth has undergone profound changes since the late Pliocene, which led to the development [~2.7 million years ago (Ma)] and intensification (~0.9 Ma) of large-scale Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, recorded as transitions in the benthic foraminiferal oxygen isotope (δ18Ob) record. Here we present an orbitally resolved record of deep ocean temperature derived from benthic foraminiferal magnesium/calcium ratios from the North Atlantic, which shows that temperature variations are a substantial portion of the global δ18Ob signal. The record shows two distinct cooling events associated with the late Pliocene (LPT, 2.5 to 3 Ma) and mid-Pleistocene (MPT, 1.2 to 0.85 Ma) climate transitions. Whereas the LPT increase in ice volume is attributed directly to global cooling, the shift to 100,000-year cycles at the MPT is more likely to be a response to an additional change in ice-sheet dynamics.
Download data from the WDC Paleo archive:
North Atlantic Plio-Pleistocene Mg/Ca Temperature Reconstructions, Text or Excel format.

To read or view the full study, please visit the Science website.
It was published in Science, Vol. 325, pp. 306 - 310, 17 July 2009. DOI: 10.1126/science.1169938
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