High-resolution bulk sediment (magnetic susceptibility and aragonite content) and δ18O records from two different planktonic foraminifera species were analyzed in an early Pliocene core interval from the Straits of Florida (Ocean Drilling Program site 1006). The δ18O record of the shallow-dwelling foraminifera G. sacculifer and the aragonite content are dominated by sub-Milankovitch variability. In contrast, magnetic susceptibility and the δ18O record of the deeper-dwelling foraminifera G. menardii show precession cycles. The relationship between the aragonite and the paleoproxy data suggests that the export of sediment from the adjacent Great Bahama Bank was triggered directly by atmospheric processes rather than by sea level change. We propose a climate mechanism that bears similarities with the semiannual cycle component of eastern equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures under present-day conditions.