Sea Surface Temperatures and Paleoenvironmental Variability in the Central Mediterranean During Historical Times Reconstructed Using Planktonic Foraminifera

Alessandro Incarbona, Giorgio Tranchida, Lukas Jonkers, Serena Ferraro, Rodolfo Sprovieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ongoing anthropogenic‐induced warming assessment requires a robust background fromregional sea surface temperature (SST) reconstructions. Planktonic foraminifera have yielded valuableinsights into late Quaternary SST dynamics, but the techniques to estimate SST from fossil assemblages have only rarely been used in very recent sedimentary records (the last 2,000 years). Here we use two transfer function methods, modern analog technique and artificial neural networks, to reconstruct SST variability in two cores from the Central Mediterranean Sea that span the last five centuries. Both cores show similar and considerable changes in the planktonic foraminifera assemblages. However, the inferred mean annual SSTs only varied in a narrow range, in agreement with instrumental data that go back to 1850 CE. Ourreconstructions extend this time frame and indicate that SST variability did not exceed 1.5 °C over the pastthree centuries. Rather than temperature, we suggest that the changes in the assemblages reflect switchesbetween sea surface winter/spring productivity and a deep winter mixed layer, due to the atmosphere/oceaninterplay that governs different productivity modes in neighboring mesoscale gyres.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-408
Number of pages15
JournalPaleoceanography and Paleoclimatology
Volume34
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Palaeontology

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