UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Patterns and mechanisms of early Pliocene warmth

Fedorov, AV; Brierley, CM; Lawrence, KT; Liu, Z; Dekens, PS; Ravelo, AC; (2013) Patterns and mechanisms of early Pliocene warmth. Nature , 496 (7443) 43 - 49. 10.1038/nature12003. Green open access

[thumbnail of Fedorovetal2013_green_access.pdf] PDF
Fedorovetal2013_green_access.pdf

Download (4MB)

Abstract

About five to four million years ago, in the early Pliocene epoch, Earth had a warm, temperate climate. The gradual cooling that followed led to the establishment of modern temperature patterns, possibly in response to a decrease in atmospheric CO2 concentration, of the order of 100 parts per million, towards preindustrial values. Here we synthesize the available geochemical proxy records of sea surface temperature and show that, compared with that of today, the early Pliocene climate had substantially lower meridional and zonal temperature gradients but similar maximum ocean temperatures. Using an Earth system model, we show that none of the mechanisms currently proposed to explain Pliocene warmth can simultaneously reproduce all three crucial features. We suggest that a combination of several dynamical feedbacks underestimated in the models at present, such as those related to ocean mixing and cloud albedo, may have been responsible for these climate conditions.

Type: Article
Title: Patterns and mechanisms of early Pliocene warmth
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/nature12003
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature12003
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1395419
Downloads since deposit
582Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item