Tindall, Julia; Flecker, Rachel; Valdes, Paul; Schmidt, Daniela N.; Markwick, Paul; Harris, Jim (2010): Modelling the oxygen isotope distribution of ancient seawater using a coupled ocean-atmosphere GCM; implications for reconstructing early Eocene climate. Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 292 (3-4), 265-273, georefid:2010-057387

One of the motivations for studying warm climates of the past such as the early Eocene, is the enhanced understanding this brings of possible future greenhouse conditions. Traditionally, climate information deduced from biological or chemical proxies have been used to "test" computer model simulations of past climatic conditions and hence establish some of the uncertainties associated with model-based predictions. However, extracting climate information from proxies is itself an interpretative process and discrepancies between climate information inferred from different types of proxy undermines the assumption that model-data conflicts automatically mean that the model is inherently flawed. A new approach which both acknowledges and reduces the uncertainties associated with both model and data is required. Although the oxygen isotopic ratio (delta (super 18) O) preserved in calcareous marine fossils has been used to reconstruct past seawater temperature for several decades, significant uncertainties associated with this method persist. These include assumptions about past seawater delta (super 18) O for which no proxy exists and which is a key control on the temperature inferred from fossil carbonate. Here we present the results of an early Eocene simulation made using a state-of-the-art General Circulation Model (GCM; HadCM3) with CO (sub 2) set at six times pre-industrial values and which has oxygen isotopes incorporated into the full hydrological cycle and hence simulates the delta (super 18) O of past seawater. This allows us to explore the implications of the different seawater delta (super 18) O correction factors commonly used for delta (super 18) O-based temperature reconstruction. It also allows us to focus model-data comparison on delta (super 18) O rather than interpret ocean temperature, an approach that reduces uncertainties in model-data comparison since the effects of both the temperature and the isotopic composition of ocean water on delta (super 18) O of carbonate are accounted for. The good agreement between model and data for both modern and well-preserved early Eocene carbonate increases confidence in climate reconstructions of this time. Abstract Copyright (2010) Elsevier, B.V.
West: -179.3321 East: 158.3100 North: 32.4000 South: -65.0938
Expedition: 113
Site: 113-690
Expedition: 114
Site: 114-702
Expedition: 119
Site: 119-738
Expedition: 143
Site: 143-865
Expedition: 198
Site: 198-1209
Expedition: 207
Site: 207-1257
Site: 207-1258
Expedition: 40
Site: 40-363
Expedition: 74
Supplemental Information:
Supplementary data available in online version
Data access:
Provider: SEDIS Publication Catalogue
Data set link: http://sedis.iodp.org/pub-catalogue/index.php?id=10.1016/j.epsl.2009.12.049 (c.f. for more detailed metadata)
This metadata in ISO19139 XML format