The impact of the little ice age on Coccolithophores in the Central Mediterranean Sea

Sergio Bonomo, Enrico Di Stefano, Paolo Censi, Alessandro Incarbona, Luciana Ferraro, Tranchida, Mattia Vallefuoco, Bellucci, Fabrizio Lirer, Bernardo Patti, Albertazzi, Mortyn, Nicola Pelosi, Mario Sprovieri, Patrizia Ziveri, Sergio Bonomo, Salvatore Mazzola, Angelo Bonanno, Giuliani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The Little Ice Age (LIA) is the last episode ofa series of Holocene climatic anomalies. There is still littleknowledge on the response of the marine environment tothe pronounced cooling of the LIA and to the transition towardsthe 20th century global warming. Here we presentdecadal-scale coccolithophore data from four short cores recoveredfrom the central Mediterranean Sea (northern SicilyChannel and Tyrrhenian Sea), which on the basis of 210Pbactivity span the last 200–350 years. The lowermost partof the record of one of the cores from the Sicily Channel,Station 407, which extends down to 1650 AD, is characterizedby drastic changes in productivity. Specifically, below1850 AD, the decrease in abundance of F. profunda and theincrease of placoliths, suggest increased productivity. Thechronology of this change is related to the main phase ofthe Little Ice Age, which might have impacted the hydrographyof the southern coast of Sicily and promoted verticalmixing in the water column. The comparison with climaticforcings points out the importance of stronger and prolongednortherly winds, together with decreased solar irradiance
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-805
Number of pages49
JournalClimate of the Past
Publication statusPublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Stratigraphy
  • Palaeontology


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