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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  April 2013  /  5 million years of sea temperatures

5 million years of sea temperatures

Nature paper raises questions about current earth systems models

5 million years of sea temperatures

About five million years ago, in the early Pliocene epoch, the Earth had a warm temperate climate which subsequently cooled to modern temperature patterns. In  a paper, "Patterns and Mechanisms of Early Pliocene Warmth", published in Nature this month, an international research group, co-led by Dr Chris Brierley (UCL Geography), has compiled records of sea surface temperature for the period. Using these data, current earth systems models have not so far been able to satisfy three critical conditions associated with the earlier warm period. They conclude that a combination of several dynamical feedbacks are underestimated in the models, including those related to ocean mixing and cloud albedo.

For the paper article and abstract, see: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v496/n7443/full/nature12003.html


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Dr Chris Brierley explaining his work


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