Reconstructing Past Ocean pH-Depth Profiles

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Science  20 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5393, pp. 1468-1471
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5393.1468

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Measurement of boron isotope compositions in species of planktonic foraminifera that calcified their tests at different depths in the water column are used to reconstruct the pH profile of the upper water column of the tropical ocean. Results for five time windows from the middle Miocene to the late Pleistocene indicate pH-depth profiles similar to that of the modern ocean in this area, which suggests that this method may greatly aid in our understanding of the global carbon cycle.

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