Middle Pliocene sea surface temperature variability
Article first published online: 10 JUN 2005
Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.
Volume 20, Issue 2, June 2005
How to Cite
2005), Middle Pliocene sea surface temperature variability, Paleoceanography, 20, PA2014, doi:10.1029/2005PA001133., , , and (
- Issue published online: 10 JUN 2005
- Article first published online: 10 JUN 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 APR 2005
- Manuscript Revised: 25 MAR 2005
- Manuscript Received: 11 JAN 2005
 Estimates of sea surface temperature (SST) based upon foraminifer, diatom, and ostracod assemblages from ocean cores reveal a warm phase of the Pliocene between about 3.3 and 3.0 Ma. Pollen records and plant megafossils, although not as well dated, show evidence for a warmer climate at about the same time. Increased greenhouse forcing and altered ocean heat transport are the leading candidates for the underlying cause of Pliocene global warmth. Despite being a period of global warmth, this interval encompasses considerable variability. Two new SST reconstructions are presented that are designed to provide a climatological error bar for warm peak phases of the Pliocene and to document the spatial distribution and magnitude of SST variability within the mid-Pliocene warm period. These data suggest long-term stability of low-latitude SST and document greater variability in regions of maximum warming.