An astronomically dated record of Earth’s climate and its predictability over the last 66 million years

Thomas Westerhold*, Norbert Marwan, Anna Joy Drury, Diederik Liebrand, Claudia Agnini, Eleni Anagnostou, James S. K. Barnet, Steven M. Bohaty, David De Vleeschouwer, Fabio Florindo, Thomas Frederichs, David A. Hodell, Ann Holbourn, Dick Kroon, Vittoria Lauretano, Kate Littler, Lucas J. Lourens, Mitchell Lyle, Heiko Pälike, Ursula RöhlJun Tian, Roy H. Wilkens, Paul A. Wilson, James C Zachos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Much of our understanding of Earth’s past climate comes from the measurement of oxygen and carbon isotope variations in deep-sea benthic foraminifera. Yet, long intervals in existing records lack the temporal resolution and age control needed to thoroughly categorize climate states of the Cenozoic era and to study their dynamics. Here, we present a new, highly resolved, astronomically dated, continuous composite of benthic foraminifer isotope records developed in our laboratories. Four climate states—Hothouse, Warmhouse, Coolhouse, Icehouse—are identified on the basis of their distinctive response to astronomical forcing depending on greenhouse gas concentrations and polar ice sheet volume. Statistical analysis of the nonlinear behavior encoded in our record reveals the key role that polar ice volume plays in the predictability of Cenozoic climate dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience
Volume369
Issue number6509
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2020

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'An astronomically dated record of Earth’s climate and its predictability over the last 66 million years'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this