Report

Upwelling Intensification As Part of the Pliocene-Pleistocene Climate Transition

Science  22 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5500, pp. 2288-2291
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5500.2288

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Abstract

A deep-sea sediment core underlying the Benguela upwelling system off southwest Africa provides a continuous time series of sea surface temperature (SST) for the past 4.5 million years. Our results indicate that temperatures in the region have declined by about 10°C since 3.2 million years ago. Records of paleoproductivity suggest that this cooling was associated with an increase in wind-driven upwelling tied to a shift from relatively stable global warmth during the mid-Pliocene to the high-amplitude glacial-interglacial cycles of the late Quaternary. These observations imply that Atlantic Ocean surface water circulation was radically different during the mid-Pliocene.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: J.R.Marlow{at}ncl.ac.uk

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