Accurate estimation of sea surface temperatures using dissolution-corrected calibrations for Mg/Ca paleothermometry



[1] Paired δ18O and Mg/Ca measurements on the same foraminiferal shells offer the ability to independently estimate sea surface temperature (SST) changes and assess their temporal relationship to the growth and decay of continental ice sheets. The accuracy of this method is confounded, however, by the absence of a quantitative method to correct Mg/Ca records for alteration by dissolution. Here we describe dissolution-corrected calibrations for Mg/Ca-paleothermometry in which the preexponent constant is a function of size-normalized shell weight: (1) for G. ruber (212–300 μm) (Mg/Ca)ruber = (0.025 wt + 0.11) e0.095T and (b) for G. sacculifer (355–425 μm) (Mg/Ca)sacc = (0.0032 wt + 0.181) e0.095T. The new calibrations improve the accuracy of SST estimates and are globally applicable. With this correction, eastern equatorial Atlantic SST during the Last Glacial Maximum is estimated to be 2.9° ± 0.4°C colder than today.