Seki, O et al. (2010): Alkenone and boron based Oligocene pCO2 records. doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.732923, Supplement to:Seki, Osamu; Foster, Gavin L; Schmidt, Daniela N; Mackensen, Andreas; Kawamura, Kimitaka; Pancost, Richard D (2010): Alkenone and boron based Pliocene pCO2 records. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 292(1-2), 201-211, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2010.01.037
The Pliocene period is the most recent time when the Earth was globally significantly (~3°C) warmer than today. However, the existing pCO2 data for the Pliocene are sparse and there is little agreement between the various techniques used to reconstruct palaeo-pCO2. Moreover, the temporal resolution of the published records does not allow a robust assessment of the role of declining pCO2 in the intensification of the Northern Hemisphere Glaciation (INHG) and a direct comparison to other proxy records are lacking. For the first time, we use a combination of foraminiferal (delta11B) and organic biomarker (alkenone-derived carbon isotopes) proxies to determine the concentration of atmospheric CO2 over the past 5 Ma. Both proxy records show that during the warm Pliocene pCO2 was between 330 and 400 ppm, i.e. similar to today. The decrease to values similar to pre-industrial times (275-285 ppm) occurred between 3.2 Ma and 2.8 Ma - coincident with the INHG and affirming the link between global climate, the cryosphere and pCO2.