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
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 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 3,700+ 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

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
Gene Editing Corrects Mutation In Cystic Fibrosis
Yale researchers successfully corrected the most common mutation in the gene that causes cystic fibrosis, a lethal genetic disorder.
Monday, April 27, 2015
New Tool To Explore Mysteries Of The Immune System
Yale scientists use CyTOF to study a range of conditions.
Monday, April 20, 2015
A Faster, Less Expensive Way To Analyze Gene Activity
Yale researchers have devised a method that could reduce the time and cost of analyzing gene activity.
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Li Ka Shing Foundation Renews Support for Yale Stem Cell Center
New generous grant of $1.86 million from LKSF to support education and healthcare initiatives.
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Single-Cell, 42-plexed Protein Analysis Achieved with a New Microchip Technology
A novel microdevice capable of detecting 42 unique immune effector proteins has been developed.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Yale Team Identifies Key Process In Brain Development
miR-107 shown to play essential role in regulating normal brain development.
Friday, February 06, 2015
Cold Virus Replicates Better At Cooler Temperatures
Study shows that the immune response to rhinovirus is influenced by temperature.
Tuesday, January 06, 2015
Scientific News
The Changing Tides of the In Vitro Diagnostics Market
With the increasing focus in personalized medicine, diagnostics plays a crucial role in patient monitoring.
LaVision BioTec Reports on the Neuro Research on the Human Brain After Trauma
Company reports on the work of Dr Ali Ertürk from the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research at LMU Munich.
NIH Study Shows No Benefit of Omega-3 Supplements for Cognitive Decline
Research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Less May Be More in Slowing Cholera Epidemics
Mathematical model shows more cases may be prevented and more lives saved when using one dose of cholera vaccine instead of recommended two doses.
Investigating the Vape
Expert independent review concludes that e-cigarettes have potential to help smokers quit.
NIH Launches Human RSV Study
Study aims to understand infection in healthy adults to aid development of RSV medicines, vaccines.
Researchers Discover Synthesis of a New Nanomaterial
Interdisciplinary team creates biocomposite for first time using physiological conditions.
Poor Survival Rates in Leukemia Linked to Persistent Genetic Mutations
For patients with an often-deadly form of leukemia, new research suggests that lingering cancer-related mutations – detected after initial treatment with chemotherapy – are associated with an increased risk of relapse and poor survival.
Flu Remedies Help Combat E. coli Bacteria
Physiologists from the University of Zurich have now discovered why the intestinal bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli) multiplies heavily and has an inflammatory effect.
Marijuana Genome Unraveled
A study by Canadian researchers is providing a clearer picture of the evolutionary history and genetic organization of cannabis, a step that could have agricultural, medical and legal implications for this valuable crop.
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
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!