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Reevaluation of mid-Pliocene North Atlantic sea surface temperatures

January 1, 2008

Multiproxy temperature estimation requires careful attention to biological, chemical, physical, temporal, and calibration differences of each proxy and paleothermometry method. We evaluated mid-Pliocene sea surface temperature (SST) estimates from multiple proxies at Deep Sea Drilling Project Holes 552A, 609B, 607, and 606, transecting the North Atlantic Drift. SST estimates derived from faunal assemblages, foraminifer Mg/Ca, and alkenone unsaturation indices showed strong agreement at Holes 552A, 607, and 606 once differences in calibration, depth, and seasonality were addressed. Abundant extinct species and/or an unrecognized productivity signal in the faunal assemblage at Hole 609B resulted in exaggerated faunal-based SST estimates but did not affect alkenone-derived or Mg/Ca–derived estimates. Multiproxy mid-Pliocene North Atlantic SST estimates corroborate previous studies documenting high-latitude mid-Pliocene warmth and refine previous faunal-based estimates affected by environmental factors other than temperature. Multiproxy investigations will aid SST estimation in high-latitude areas sensitive to climate change and currently underrepresented in SST reconstructions.

Publication Year 2008
Title Reevaluation of mid-Pliocene North Atlantic sea surface temperatures
Authors Marci M. Robinson, Harry J. Dowsett, Gary S. Dwyer, Kira T. Lawrence
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Paleoceanography
Index ID 70003486
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center