Brierley, Chris M.; Fedorov, Alexey V.; Liu Zhonghui; Herbert, Timothy D.; Lawrence, Kira T.; LaRiviere, Jonathan P. (2009): Greatly expanded tropical warm pool and weakened Hadley circulation in the early Pliocene. American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC, United States, Science, 323 (5922), 1714-1718, georefid:2009-056810

The Pliocene warm interval has been difficult to explain. We reconstructed the latitudinal distribution of sea surface temperature around 4 million years ago, during the early Pliocene. Our reconstruction shows that the meridional temperature gradient between the equator and subtropics was greatly reduced, implying a vast poleward expansion of the ocean tropical warm pool. Corroborating evidence indicates that the Pacific temperature contrast between the equator and 32 degrees N has evolved from approximately 2 degrees C 4 million years ago to approximately 8 degrees C today. The meridional warm pool expansion evidently had enormous impacts on the Pliocene climate, including a slowdown of the atmospheric Hadley circulation and El Nino-like conditions in the equatorial region. Ultimately, sustaining a climate state with weak tropical sea surface temperature gradients may require additional mechanisms of ocean heat uptake (such as enhanced ocean vertical mixing).
West: -118.2302 East: -90.4904 North: 32.1658 South: -3.0549
Expedition: 138
Site: 138-846
Expedition: 167
Site: 167-1012
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