Report

Temperature and Surface-Ocean Water Balance of the Mid-Holocene Tropical Western Pacific

Science  13 Feb 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5353, pp. 1014-1018
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5353.1014

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Abstract

Skeletal Sr/Ca and 18O/16O ratios in corals from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, indicate that the tropical ocean surface ∼5350 years ago was 1°C warmer and enriched in18O by 0.5 per mil relative to modern seawater. The results suggest that the temperature increase enhanced the evaporative enrichment of 18O in seawater. Transport of part of the additional atmospheric water vapor to extratropical latitudes may have sustained the 18O/16O anomaly. The reduced glacial-Holocene shift in seawater 18O/16O ratio produced by the mid-Holocene 18O enrichment may help to reconcile the different temperature histories for the last deglaciation given by coral Sr/Ca thermometry and foraminiferal oxygen-isotope records.

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