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Cenozoic Deep-Sea Temperatures and Global Ice Volumes from Mg/Ca in Benthic Foraminiferal Calcite

C. H. Lear, H. Elderfield and P. A. Wilson
Science
New Series, Vol. 287, No. 5451 (Jan. 14, 2000), pp. 269-272
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3074480
Page Count: 4
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Cenozoic Deep-Sea Temperatures and Global Ice Volumes from Mg/Ca in Benthic Foraminiferal Calcite
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Abstract

A deep-sea temperature record for the past 50 million years has been produced from the magnesium/calcium ratio (Mg/Ca) in benthic foraminiferal calcite. The record is strikingly similar in form to the corresponding benthic oxygen isotope (δ18O) record and defines an overall cooling of about 12°C in the deep oceans with four main cooling periods. Used in conjunction with the benthic δ18O record, the magnesium temperature record indicates that the first major accumulation of Antarctic ice occurred rapidly in the earliest Oligocene (34 million years ago) and was not accompanied by a decrease in deep-sea temperatures.

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