Ocean currents generate large footprints in marine palaeoclimate proxies.

van Sebille, Erik, Scussolini, Paolo, Durgadoo, Jonathan V. , Peeters, Frank J. C., Biastoch, Arne , Weijer, Wilbert, Turney, Chris, Paris, Claire B. and Zahn, Rainer (2015) Ocean currents generate large footprints in marine palaeoclimate proxies. Open Access Nature Communications, 6 (6521). DOI 10.1038/ncomms7521.

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Fossils of marine microorganisms such as planktic foraminifera are among the cornerstones of palaeoclimatological studies. It is often assumed that the proxies derived from their shells represent ocean conditions above the location where they were deposited. Planktic foraminifera, however, are carried by ocean currents and, depending on the life traits of the species, potentially incorporate distant ocean conditions. Here we use high-resolution ocean models to assess the footprint of planktic foraminifera and validate our method with proxy analyses from two locations. Results show that foraminifera, and thus recorded palaeoclimatic conditions, may originate from areas up to several thousands of kilometres away, reflecting an ocean state significantly different from the core site. In the eastern equatorial regions and the western boundary current extensions, the offset may reach 1.5 °C for species living for a month and 3.0 °C for longer-living species. Oceanic transport hence appears to be a crucial aspect in the interpretation of proxy signals.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000352720000011
Keywords: Earth sciences; Climate science; Oceanography
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Projects: GATEWAYS, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2015 13:33
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2019 13:02
URI: https://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/27855

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