Early Pliocene Climate

Research Area: Palaeoclimate, Palaeoclimatology and rapid climatic events

As new data emerges, our interpretation of the early Pliocene climate continually evolves. More and more data from the last few years indicate a persistence of a significantly reduced zonal temperature gradient in the equatorial Pacific, which is associated with climate conditions usually referred to as a "permanent El NiƱo". We have collected together data from a variety of regions in both Pacific and Atlantic oceans to reconstruct the meridional temperature gradient in the ocean during the early Pliocene. Our results indicate a substantial reduction in the meridional temperature gradient from the equator to the subtropics (in comparison with today's climate) and a large poleward expansion of the warm-water pool in the tropical Pacific.

Contact Name: 
Chris Brierley