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Many records of tropical sea surface temperature and marine productivity exhibit cycles of 23 kyr (orbital precession) and 100 kyr during the past 0.5 Myr (refs 1-5), whereas high-latitude sea surface temperature records display much more pronounced obliquity cycles at a period of about 41 kyr (ref. 6). Little is known, however, about tropical climate(More)
A tropical Pacific climate state resembling that of a permanent El Niño is hypothesized to have ended as a result of a reorganization of the ocean heat budget approximately 3 million years ago, a time when large ice sheets appeared in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. We report a high-resolution alkenone reconstruction of conditions in the(More)
Earth's modern climate, characterized by polar ice sheets and large equator-to-pole temperature gradients, is rooted in environmental changes that promoted Antarctic glaciation ~33.7 million years ago. Onset of Antarctic glaciation reflects a critical tipping point for Earth's climate and provides a framework for investigating the role of atmospheric carbon(More)
• C (ref. 1). However, this value incorporates only relatively rapid feedbacks such as changes in atmospheric water vapour concentrations, and the distributions of sea ice, clouds and aerosols 2. Earth-system climate sensitivity, by contrast, additionally includes the effects of long-term feedbacks such as changes in continental ice-sheet extent,(More)
The alkenone-pCO2 methodology has been used to reconstruct the partial pressure of ancient atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2) for the past 45 million years of Earth's history (Middle Eocene to Pleistocene epochs). The present long-term CO2 record is a composite of data from multiple ocean localities that express a wide range of oceanographic and algal growth(More)
The relative importance of north-south migrations of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) versus El Niño-Southern Oscillation and its associated Pacific Walker Circulation (PWC) variability for past hydrological change in the western tropical Pacific is unclear. Here we show that north-south ITCZ migration was not the only mechanism of tropical Pacific(More)
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(More)
The appearance of permanent El Niño-like conditions prior to 3 million years ago is founded on sea-surface temperature (SST) reconstructions that show invariant Pacific warm pool temperatures and negligible equatorial zonal temperature gradients. However, only a few SST records are available, and these are potentially compromised by changes in seawater(More)
The Tibetan Plateau uplift and Cenozoic global cooling are thought to induce enhanced aridification in the Asian interior. Although the onset of Asian desertification is proposed to have started in the earliest Miocene, prevailing desert environment in the Tarim Basin, currently providing much of the Asian eolian dust sources, is only a geologically recent(More)
Dust storms in northern China strongly affect the living and health of people there and the dusts could travel a full circle of the globe in a short time. Historically, more frequent dust storms occurred during cool periods, particularly the Little Ice Age (LIA), generally attributed to the strengthened Siberian High. However, limited by chronological(More)