The Tropics Return to the Climate System

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Science  27 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5517, pp. 660-661
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5517.660

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Long neglected by paleoclimatologists, the tropical oceans, and especially the tropical Pacific, are being given their due as participants in and possibly dominant drivers of long-term climate change, from the global warming of the past century to the ice ages of 30,000 years ago. Contrary to what was previously believed, a variety of new paleoclimate indicators are showing that the tropics not only cooled along with the rest of the planet in the last ice age, but were right in step whenever the world briefly warmed or cooled during glacial times and when the ice age ended.