Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

In Last Great Age of Warmth, CO2 at Work - But Hardly Alone

Published: Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Bookmark and Share
According to new research, warming patterns of prolonged global warmth differed dramatically from modern temperature patterns.

Warming patterns during Earth’s last period of prolonged global warmth differed dramatically from modern temperature patterns, according to new research by a Yale University scientist and colleagues.

Cloud feedbacks, ocean mixing, or other dynamic factors must have played a greater role in Pliocene warming than commonly recognized, the scientists argue, and these must be accounted for in order to make meaningful predictions about Earth’s future climate.

In a paper published April 4 in the journal Nature, Yale climate scientist Alexey Fedorov and colleagues compile records of sea surface temperatures going back five million years, to the early Pliocene.

These records reveal a world with fairly uniform warm temperatures in the whole of the Tropics prior to 4 million years ago - a significant scenario that typical climate model simulations fail to show.

“If we want to understand our future climate, we have to be able to understand climate of the past,” said Fedorov, a professor of oceanic and atmospheric sciences at Yale and one of the paper’s principal authors.

Fedorov continued, “The Pliocene epoch attracts particular attention because of similar CO2 levels to what we have had over the last few decades, but its climate was markedly different in several important ways. Still, if we’re able to simulate the early Pliocene climate, we will be more confident in our ability to predict future climate change.”

Warm and temperate, the Pliocene is widely viewed as a potential analog for a future hot Earth. Using chemical fingerprints in ocean sediments to estimate sea surface temperatures, the researchers describe long-term climate trends from the early Pliocene to the present, comparing and contrasting that ancient climate with today’s.

The Pliocene Earth had the same maximum temperature as now and a similar concentration of atmospheric CO2, but the waters in the Tropics (off the coast of Peru, for example) were much warmer than now, resembling modern El Niño conditions.

(There was little or no east-west temperature variation along the equator.) Temperature differences between high latitudes and the Tropics were also much smaller.

Kira Lawrence of Lafayette College, also a principal author, said: “While existing data suggest that the climate forcing [factors controlling climate] during the Pliocene was marginally different, the broad temperature patterns during the Pliocene were different in a fundamental way. As a community, we have been focused on changes in the global mean temperature; what our study demonstrates is the potential for climate patterns to be markedly different in a world that is not that much warmer than today’s.”

Previous attempts to explain Pliocene climate have emphasized tectonic changes in Indonesia and Central America.

But accounting for this in climate models still results in a conflict with actual temperature patterns.

Several dynamic factors have been proposed to explain the warm temperature patterns during the Pliocene. These include ocean mixing in subtropical waters (perhaps due to widespread hurricanes) and diminished cloud reflectivity (perhaps due to a different aerosol composition), which would tend to warm the ocean.

When combined in models with higher levels of CO2, these help replicate conditions of the warm Pliocene Earth. But so far these factors have not been included in climate models used to make future projections.

A better understanding of what caused the Pliocene climate, with its nearly uniform tropical ocean temperatures, will increase confidence in the fidelity of the models, researchers said.

Said co-author Chris Brierley, a former Yale postdoctoral researcher now at University College London, “I’m worried that we can’t discount a possible future that has a vast pool of warm water covering the tropics, and the nasty changes in the atmospheric circulation and rainfall changes that would go along with that.”

The paper is titled "Patterns and mechanisms of early Pliocene warmth."


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,900+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Gene-Editing 'Toolbox' Targets Multiple Genes Simultaneously
Researchers have designed a system that modifies, or edits, multiple genes in a genome at once while minimising unintentional effects.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Effects Of Maternal Smoking Continue Long After Birth
Yale study shows that maternal smoking is linked to behavioural changes.
Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Reduced Immune Response Causes Flu Deaths in Older Adults
Yale study suggests that immune response to flu causes death in older people, not the virus.
Friday, April 22, 2016
CNS Inflammation: A Pathway and Possible Drug Target
Scientists have long known that the central nervous system (CNS) has a remarkable ability to limit excessive inflammation in the presence of antigens or injury, but how it works has been unclear.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Nanogel That Delivers One-Two Punch To Cancer Heads To Clinical Trial
Yale scientists create a nanogel which can be used to deliver multiple drugs to cancer cells.
Wednesday, April 06, 2016
Chaos, Hope, And The Lupus Butterfly Theory
The lupus butterfly theory suggests that antibodies that attack DNA in lupus may be sources of both chaos and hope.
Wednesday, April 06, 2016
Life-Extending Hormone Bolsters Immunity
A hormone that extends lifespan in mice by 40% is produced by specialized cells in the thymus gland, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Novel Technique for Kidney Research Developed
To better understand how the treatment leads to kidney damage, and possibly prevent it, a team of researchers at Yale School of Medicine developed a new 3D-imaging technique to peer deep into these vital organs.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Shedding Light On Century-Old Biochemical Mystery
Yale scientists have used magnetic resonance measurements to show how glucose is metabolized in yeast to answer the puzzle of the “Warburg Effect.”
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Gene Testing Now Allows Precision Medicine for Thoracic Aneurysms
Researchers at the Aortic Institute at Yale have tested the genomes of more than 100 patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms, a potentially lethal condition, and provided genetically personalized care.
Monday, July 20, 2015
Creating More Potent Vaccines
Yale researchers uncovered a new role for a type of immune cell, known as regulatory T cells, in promoting long-term immunity.
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
Yale Team finds why BRCA Gene Resists Cancer Treatment
The University researchers have discovered why a key molecular assistant is crucial to the function of the BRCA2 gene.
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
New Type of Drug Can Target All Disease-causing Proteins
Current drugs block the actions of only about a quarter of known disease-causing proteins, but Yale University researchers have developed a technology capable of not just inhibiting, but destroying every protein it targets.
Monday, June 15, 2015
After a Sip of Milkshake, Genes and Brain Activity Predict Weight Gain
The new study published in The Journal Neuroscience.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Researchers Solve Multiple Sclerosis Puzzle
Yale study shows the role that T cells play in MS.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Scientific News
Breakthrough Flu Vaccine Inhibited by Pre-existing Antibodies
Universal truths – how existing antibodies are sabotaging the most promising new human flu vaccines.
Researchers Develop Software That Could Facilitate Drug Development
AptaTRACE can identify aptamers, potentially speed drug advancement.
Gene Therapy for Metabolic Liver Diseases
Researchers have tested gene therapy in pigs from hereditary tyrosinemia type 1, with corrected liver cells being transplanted into the diseased liver.
Zika Vaccine Candidates Show Promise
Two experimental vaccines have shown promise against a major viral strain responsible for the Brazilian Zika outbreak.
New Medication Shows Promise Against Liver Fibrosis in Animal Studies
Liver fibrosis is a gradual scarring of the liver that puts people at risk for progressive liver disease and liver failure.
Raw Eggs Deemed Safe to Eat
A report published today by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) into egg safety has shown a major reduction in the risk from salmonella in UK eggs.
Monitoring TTX Toxin in Shellfish
In a number of small studies, mussels and oysters from the eastern and northern part of the Oosterschelde in Holland were found to contain tetrodotoxin (TTX).
Gene Terapy for Muscle Wasting Developed
New gene therapy could save millions of people suffering from muscle wasting disease.
NIH Begins Yellow Fever Vaccine Trial
NIH has initiated an early-stage clinical trial of a vaccine to protect against yellow fever.
Gene-Editing 'Toolbox' Targets Multiple Genes Simultaneously
Researchers have designed a system that modifies, or edits, multiple genes in a genome at once while minimising unintentional effects.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,900+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!