The Glacial Tropical Pacific--Not Just a West Side Story

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Science  12 Jul 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5579, pp. 202-203
DOI: 10.1126/science.1073841

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The impact of the tropical Pacific on global climate is well known during El Niño events, implying that tropical climate also played a major role in ice age cycles. But studies into these effects have been hampered by the lack of high-resolution records of tropical sea surface temperatures during glacial times. In his Perspective, Lea highlights the reports by Stott et al. and Koutavas et al. Their records from different parts of the tropical Pacific shed light on how tropical climate varied during the last glacial period and during the deglaciation that led to the current warm period.