low Pacific reconstructed Medina-Elizalde2005

Core/Site name:





marine sediments (downcore)

Proxy measurement:


Sampling resolution:



1348.000 ka BP


4.300 ka BP


Late Pliocene foraminiferal Mg/Ca and d18O records from Ocean Drilling Program Hole 806B in the western equatorial Pacific (WEP) reveal warm pool climate evolution during the onset of Northern Hemisphere glaciation, 3.1-2.3 Myr B.P. Mg/Ca data indicate an average late Pliocene sea surface temperature (SST) of 27.8°C, a small long-term cooling of 0.3°C between 3.1 and 2.3 Ma, and a glacial-interglacial (G-I) SST range of 2°C throughout this time interval. For comparison, Pleistocene SSTs at this site over the last 0.9 Myr average 27.7°C with a G-I range of 3°C. Orbital-scale variability in Hole 806B SSTs during the late Pliocene occurs predominantly at ~100 ka, in contrast to foraminiferal d18O records, which show a dominant 41 kyr period. Variability at a 41 kyr period, out of phase with local annual insolation changes driven by obliquity, is also observed in the new WEP SST record. The WEP SST record suggests that an ~3°C equatorial Pacific SST zonal gradient prevailed during the late Pliocene, compatible with a weaker Walker circulation. Adjustment of Hole 806B SSTs for past changes in seawater Mg/Ca suggests that SSTs higher than 30°C prevailed at 3 Myr B.P., followed by a progressive cooling of the warm pool through the late Pliocene. The characteristics of late Pliocene tropical climate evolution suggest that atmospheric greenhouse gas forcing played a major role in driving the observed G-I SST changes.

Data entered by name:

Martrat, Belen

Data entered by email:

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Main reference(s):

Medina-Elizalde, M. & Lea, D. W. The Mid-Pleistocene Transition in the Tropical Pacific. Science 310, 1009-1012, doi:10.1126/science.1115933 (2005).Lang, N. & Wolff, E. W. Interglacial and glacial variability from the last 800 ka in marine, ice and terrestrial archives. Clim. Past 7, 361-380, doi:10.5194/cp-7-361-2011 (2011).

Link to reference 1:


Link to reference 2:


Data storage link 1:


Data storage link 2:



woa09t_an0: 29.326000ºC

Current dating method:

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Annual snow acc rate:

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Category: PIGS