Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Temperature Analysis Should Aid Climate-Change Studies

Date:
September 20, 2000
Source:
University Of California, Davis
Summary:
New temperature analysis should aid climate-change studies In a new study expected to improve predictions of global climate change, microscopic fossil shells from the deep ocean floor show that prehistoric temperature shifts in the tropical Pacific Ocean correlate closely with the birth and death of ice ages, say University of California scientists.

New temperature analysis should aid climate-change studies In a new study expected to improve predictions of global climate change, microscopic fossil shells from the deep ocean floor show that prehistoric temperature shifts in the tropical Pacific Ocean correlate closely with the birth and death of ice ages, say University of California scientists.

"There's a lot of funding and research going into studying the causes of climate change. One of the key questions is, when we go back tens to hundreds of thousands of years, what regions of the planet are responsible for triggering glacial periods?" said Howard Spero, a UC Davis professor of geology. "One hypothesis argues that changes in high latitudes, near the poles, are responsible. The other camp argues that the tropics is the key player because it is the primary source of moisture and heat to the atmosphere.

"We believe we have the smoking gun: the trace mineral content in the shells of these fossilized planktonic foraminifera, which acts as a geochemical thermometer. And the smoking gun supports the hypothesis that the tropics is a very important control on global climate change." Spero is co-author of the study with geology professor David Lea and research geologist Dorothy Pak of UC Santa Barbara. It will be published in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

The study is the first to document very warm sea surface temperatures in the western Pacific about 400,000 years ago, which geologists call marine isotope stage 11 (MIS 11). Spero said the fossil shells show that average surface water temperatures at that time reached 30 degrees Celsius (about 86 degrees Fahrenheit), then moderated.

"It's very intriguing that historical temperatures in the western tropical Pacific have been around 29 degrees Celsius, but have been reaching as much as 30 degrees during the hottest times of the year in the past decade," Spero said.

"Many researchers are studying MIS 11 as a potential analog for future warming. Some researchers have suggested that during MIS 11, melting of the polar ice caps may have raised global sea level by as much as 65 feet. Our results should allow numerical modelers to better explain the geological data and produce more confident predictions of the future."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California, Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California, Davis. "New Temperature Analysis Should Aid Climate-Change Studies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000913210417.htm>.
University Of California, Davis. (2000, September 20). New Temperature Analysis Should Aid Climate-Change Studies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000913210417.htm
University Of California, Davis. "New Temperature Analysis Should Aid Climate-Change Studies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000913210417.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Several communities were evacuated and some international flights were diverted on Friday after one of the most active volcanos in the region erupts. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — The mystery of the moving rocks in Death Valley, California, has finally been solved. Scientists are pointing to a combo of water, ice and wind. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

AP (Aug. 27, 2014) — Thundering surf spawned by Hurricane Marie pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town. High surf warnings were posted for Los Angeles County south through Orange County. (Aug. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins