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Publication details for Professor Erin McClymont

Haywood, A.M., Dolan, A.M., Pickering, S.J., Dowsett, H.J., McClymont, E.L., Prescott, C.L., Salzmann, U., Hill, D.J., Lunt, D.J., Pope, J.O. & Valdes, P.J. (2013). On the identification of a Pliocene time slice for data-model comparison. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society A: mathematical, physical and engineering sciences 371: 20120515.

Author(s) from Durham


The characteristics of the mid-Pliocene warm period (mPWP: 3.264–3.025 MaBP) have been examined using geological proxies and climate models. While there is agreement between models and data, details of regional climate differ. Uncertainties in prescribed forcings and in proxy data limit the utility of the interval to understand the dynamics of a warmer than present climate or evaluate models. This uncertainty comes, in part, from the reconstruction of a time slab rather than a time slice, where forcings required by climate models can be more adequately constrained.

Here, we describe the rationale and approach for identifying a time slice(s) for Pliocene environmental reconstruction. A time slice centred on 3.205 MaBP (3.204–3.207 MaBP) has been identified as a priority for investigation. It is a warm interval characterized by a negative benthic oxygen isotope excursion (0.21–0.23 per mille) centred on marine isotope stage KM5c (KM5.3). It occurred during a period of orbital forcing that was very similar to present day. Climate model simulations indicate that proxy temperature estimates are unlikely to be significantly affected by orbital forcing for at least a precession cycle centred on the time slice, with the North Atlantic potentially being an important exception.


Free - Open Access Article