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Science. 2000 Dec 22;290(5500):2288-91.

Upwelling intensification as part of the Pliocene-Pleistocene climate transition.

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  • 1Department of Fossil Fuels and Environmental Geochemistry, Drummond Building, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK. J.R.Marlow@ncl.ac.uk

Abstract

A deep-sea sediment core underlying the Benguela upwelling system off southwest Africa provides a continuous time series of sea surface temperature (SST) for the past 4.5 million years. Our results indicate that temperatures in the region have declined by about 10 degrees C since 3.2 million years ago. Records of paleoproductivity suggest that this cooling was associated with an increase in wind-driven upwelling tied to a shift from relatively stable global warmth during the mid-Pliocene to the high-amplitude glacial-interglacial cycles of the late Quaternary. These observations imply that Atlantic Ocean surface water circulation was radically different during the mid-Pliocene.

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