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Science. 2010 Dec 3;330(6009):1378-81. doi: 10.1126/science.1194887.

Dynamical response of the tropical Pacific Ocean to solar forcing during the early Holocene.

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  • 1Department of Geological Sciences and Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.


We present a high-resolution magnesium/calcium proxy record of Holocene sea surface temperature (SST) from off the west coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico, a region where interannual SST variability is dominated today by the influence of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Temperatures were lowest during the early to middle Holocene, consistent with documented eastern equatorial Pacific cooling and numerical model simulations of orbital forcing into a La Niña-like state at that time. The early Holocene SSTs were also characterized by millennial-scale fluctuations that correlate with cosmogenic nuclide proxies of solar variability, with inferred solar minima corresponding to El Niño-like (warm) conditions, in apparent agreement with the theoretical "ocean dynamical thermostat" response of ENSO to exogenous radiative forcing.

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