Session: Warm Climates (Mid-Holocene, Last interglacial, Deep-time, Pliocene)
Author: Alan Haywood / email@example.com / School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, UK
Co-author: Daniel Hill, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, UK;
Kevin Bolton, Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, UK;
The Earth underwent a major transition from the warm climates of the Pliocene to the Pleistocene ice ages between 3.2 and 2.6 million years ago. The intensification of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation is the most obvious result of the Plio-Pleistocene transition. However, recent data show that the ocean also underwent a significant change, with the convergence of deep water mass properties in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean. We show that the lack of coastal ice in the Pacific sector of Antarctica leads to major reductions in Pacific Ocean overturning and the loss of the modern North Pacific Deep Water mass in climate models of the warmest periods of the Pliocene. These results potentially explain the convergence of global deep water mass properties at the Plio-Pleistocene transition, as Circumpolar Deep Water became the common source.