BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Studying the Pliocene Paradox.
Published: June 12, 2006
Posted: June 28, 2006

Environmental conditions during the early Pliocene, 3 to 5 million years ago, were similar to and also very different from those of today. The intensity of sunlight incident on Earth, the global geography, and the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide were close to what they are today, but surface temperatures in polar regions were so much higher that continental glaciers were absent from the Northern Hemisphere, and sea level was 25 m higher than today. This apparent paradox--that the climate state of today is different from that during the early Pliocene despite the same external forcing, has been examined in a paper published in the June 9 issue of Science. According to the team of authors, lead by a PI sponsored by the Office of Science, the study has implications for future climate: a future melting of glaciers, changes in the hydrological cycle, and a deepening of the thermocline could restore the warm conditions of the early Pliocene.

References:

  1. Richard A. Kerr: PALEOCLIMATOLOGY: Looking Way Back for the World's Climate Future. Science 9 June 2006: 1456-1457
  2. A. V. Fedorov, P. S. Dekens, M. McCarthy, A. C. Ravelo, P. B. deMenocal, M. Barreiro, R. C. Pacanowski, S. G. Philander. The Pliocene Paradox (Mechanisms for a Permanent El Niño) Science, 312, 1485-1489.

Contact: Anjuli Bamzai, SC-23.3, (301) 903-0294
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling

Division: SC-33.1 Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
      (formerly SC-23.3 Climate Change Research Division, OBER)

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco
Objectives

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)