Persistent high latitude amplification of the Pacific Ocean over the past 10 million years. Academic Article uri icon


  • While high latitude amplification is seen in modern observations, paleoclimate records, and climate modeling, better constraints on the magnitude and pattern of amplification would provide insights into the mechanisms that drive it, which remain actively debated. Here we present multi-proxy multi-site paleotemperature records over the last 10 million years from the Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP) - the warmest endmember of the global ocean that is uniquely important in the global radiative feedback change. These sea surface temperature records, based on lipid biomarkers and seawater Mg/Ca-adjusted foraminiferal Mg/Ca, unequivocally show warmer WPWP in the past, and a secular cooling over the last 10 million years. Compiling these data with existing records reveals a persistent, nearly stationary, extratropical response pattern in the Pacific in which high latitude (~50N) temperatures increase by ~2.4 for each degree of WPWP warming. This relative warming pattern is also evident in model outputs of millennium-long climate simulations with quadrupling atmospheric CO2, therefore providing a strong constraint on the future equilibrium response of the Earth System.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

altmetric score

  • 19.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Liu, X., Huber, M., Foster, G. L., Dessler, A., & Zhang, Y. G.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Liu, Xiaoqing||Huber, Matthew||Foster, Gavin L||Dessler, Andrew||Zhang, Yi Ge

publication date

  • January 2022