Carbon-13 in Tree Rings Indicates No Record of Sea-Surface Temperature

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Science  14 Sep 1979:
Vol. 205, Issue 4411, pp. 1127-1129
DOI: 10.1126/science.205.4411.1127


When the correct values for the temperature coefficient of carbon dioxide solubility in seawater are used, theoretical calculations show that no measurable carbon-isotope redistribution occurs between sea and air for any plausible change in the sea-surface temperature. Although this fact invalidates one possible paleothermometer, it somewhat simplifies the interpretation of carbon-13 data in terrestrial biological samples.