We present a high-resolution climate record from a sediment core spanning an 80-kyr interval of time during the mid-Pliocene epoch, when warmer conditions and lower global ice volume prevailed worldwide. Oxygen and carbon isotope analyses were made on benthic and planktonic foraminifera from ODP Site 981 in the North Atlantic. The amplitude and approximate recurrence interval of suborbital variations in these records are comparable to those of Holocene and marine isotope stage 11 (MIS 11) records from the North Atlantic. We conclude that the mid-Pliocene warm interval was a time of relative climatic stability. These results suggest that warmer climatic conditions alone may not necessarily enhance variability in the climate system, a finding that may facilitate predictions of 21st century climatic response to anthropogenic warming.
Climate stability during the Pliocene warm period
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