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Type: Journal article
Title: A 4-Ma record of thermal evolution in the tropical western Pacific and its implications on climate change
Author: Li, L.
Li, Q.
Tian, J.
Wang, P.
Wang, H.
Liu, Z.
Citation: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2011; 309(1-2):10-20
Publisher: Elsevier Science BV
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 0012-821X
Statement of
Li Li, Qianyu Li, Jun Tian, Pinxian Wang, Hui Wang and Zhonghui Liu
Abstract: Orbital resolution thermal histories over the last 4 Ma at ODP Site 1143 in the tropical western Pacific are reconstructed using alkenone paleothermometry. The temperature profile is characterized by a steady state of ~ 29 °C with fluctuations < 1 °C before 2.7 Ma and by a strong oscillating state from 2.7 Ma, largely due to cooling by up to 4 °C from ~ 29 °C in interglacial to 26 °C in glacial intervals. This implies a relative warm and stable surface hydrography during the early and mid Pliocene in this region influenced by the warm pool before temperature decreases in responding to global cooling and the formation of the distinct glacial stages since the late Pliocene. Therefore, the smaller SST gradient between tropical eastern and western Pacific and between southern and northern South China Sea before the late Pliocene indicates a super sized Pliocene Pacific warm pool, while the larger SST gradient since then marks progressively intensification of the zonal Walker circulation and meridional Hadley circulation, representing the monsoon circulations in the region. The intensification of the Walker and Hadley circulations over the tropical Pacific may also have helped on the onset of glaciations and subsequent deglaciations during the late Pliocene and Pleistocene.
Keywords: Tropical western Pacific
alkenone-based temperature
Plio-Pleistocene thermal evolution
temperature gradient
DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.04.016
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Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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