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Transient temperature asymmetry between hemispheres in the Palaeogene Atlantic Ocean

Transient temperature asymmetry between hemispheres in the Palaeogene Atlantic Ocean
Transient temperature asymmetry between hemispheres in the Palaeogene Atlantic Ocean
During the Late Palaeogene between ~40 and 23 million years ago (Ma), Earth transitioned from a warm non-glaciated climate state and developed large dynamic ice sheets on Antarctica. This transition is largely inferred from the deep-sea oxygen isotope record because records from independent temperature proxies are sparse. Here we present a 25-million-year-long alkenone-based record of surface temperature change from the North Atlantic Ocean. Our long temperature record documents peak warmth (~29 °C) during the middle Eocene, a slow overall decline to the Eocene/Oligocene transition (EOT, ~34 Ma) and high-amplitude variability (between ~28 and 24 °C) during the Oligo–Miocene. The overall structure of the record is similar to that of the deep-sea record, but a distinct anomaly is also evident. We find no evidence of surface cooling in the North Atlantic directly coinciding with the EOT when Antarctica first became cold enough to sustain large ice sheets and subantarctic waters cooled substantially. Surface ocean cooling during the EOT was therefore strongly asymmetric between hemispheres. This transient thermal decoupling of the North Atlantic Ocean from the southern high latitudes suggests that Antarctic glaciation triggered changes in ocean circulation-driven heat transport and influenced the far-field climate response.
1752-0894
656-660
Liu, Zhonghui
9cd87eaf-0cb6-466c-bdbe-f85afade35d1
He, Yuxin
22c8357b-e6b0-446e-9f5a-e77398aeba27
Jiang, Yiqing
241479f3-278b-45cf-8ffe-b2c1752d92e3
Wang, Huanye
2fbf1dbc-b42c-4df9-b197-8fe860bd7cd8
Liu, Weiguo
0271fec5-3d86-4478-a2c8-27541927d47f
Bohaty, Steven M.
af9dbe78-8b9f-44f2-ba1d-20795837d2d1
Wilson, Paul A.
f940a9f0-fa5a-4a64-9061-f0794bfbf7c6
Liu, Zhonghui
9cd87eaf-0cb6-466c-bdbe-f85afade35d1
He, Yuxin
22c8357b-e6b0-446e-9f5a-e77398aeba27
Jiang, Yiqing
241479f3-278b-45cf-8ffe-b2c1752d92e3
Wang, Huanye
2fbf1dbc-b42c-4df9-b197-8fe860bd7cd8
Liu, Weiguo
0271fec5-3d86-4478-a2c8-27541927d47f
Bohaty, Steven M.
af9dbe78-8b9f-44f2-ba1d-20795837d2d1
Wilson, Paul A.
f940a9f0-fa5a-4a64-9061-f0794bfbf7c6

Liu, Zhonghui, He, Yuxin, Jiang, Yiqing, Wang, Huanye, Liu, Weiguo, Bohaty, Steven M. and Wilson, Paul A. (2018) Transient temperature asymmetry between hemispheres in the Palaeogene Atlantic Ocean. Nature Geoscience, 11 (9), 656-660. (doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0182-9).

Record type: Article

Abstract

During the Late Palaeogene between ~40 and 23 million years ago (Ma), Earth transitioned from a warm non-glaciated climate state and developed large dynamic ice sheets on Antarctica. This transition is largely inferred from the deep-sea oxygen isotope record because records from independent temperature proxies are sparse. Here we present a 25-million-year-long alkenone-based record of surface temperature change from the North Atlantic Ocean. Our long temperature record documents peak warmth (~29 °C) during the middle Eocene, a slow overall decline to the Eocene/Oligocene transition (EOT, ~34 Ma) and high-amplitude variability (between ~28 and 24 °C) during the Oligo–Miocene. The overall structure of the record is similar to that of the deep-sea record, but a distinct anomaly is also evident. We find no evidence of surface cooling in the North Atlantic directly coinciding with the EOT when Antarctica first became cold enough to sustain large ice sheets and subantarctic waters cooled substantially. Surface ocean cooling during the EOT was therefore strongly asymmetric between hemispheres. This transient thermal decoupling of the North Atlantic Ocean from the southern high latitudes suggests that Antarctic glaciation triggered changes in ocean circulation-driven heat transport and influenced the far-field climate response.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 14 June 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 16 July 2018
Published date: September 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 422452
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/422452
ISSN: 1752-0894
PURE UUID: dadab609-a806-4bb7-822c-e7ee223cc887
ORCID for Steven M. Bohaty: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1193-7398

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Jul 2018 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 05:12

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Contributors

Author: Zhonghui Liu
Author: Yuxin He
Author: Yiqing Jiang
Author: Huanye Wang
Author: Weiguo Liu
Author: Paul A. Wilson

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