Articles | Volume 12, issue 4
Clim. Past, 12, 819–835, 2016

Special issue: Climatic and biotic events of the Paleogene

Clim. Past, 12, 819–835, 2016

Research article 06 Apr 2016

Research article | 06 Apr 2016

Revisiting carbonate chemistry controls on planktic foraminifera Mg /  Ca: implications for sea surface temperature and hydrology shifts over the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum and Eocene–Oligocene transition

David Evans et al.

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Cited articles

Anand, P., Elderfield, H., and Conte, M.: Calibration of Mg∕Ca thermometry in planktonic foraminifera from a sediment trap time series, Paleoceanography, 18, 28–31, 2003.
Bentov, S. and Erez, J.: Impact of biomineralization processes on the Mg content of foraminiferal shells: a biological perspective, Geochem. Geophy. Geosy., 7, Q01P08,, 2006.
Bentov, S., Brownlee, C., and Erez, J.: The role of seawater endocytosis in the biomineralization process in calcareous foraminifera, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 106, 21500–21504, 2009.
Bijl, P., Schouten, S., Sluijs, A., Reichart, G., Zachos, J., and Brinkhuis, H.: Early Palaeogene temperature evolution of the southwest Pacific Ocean, Nature, 461, 776–779, 2009.
Bohaty, S. M., Zachos, J. C., and Delaney, M. L.: Foraminiferal Mg∕Ca evidence for Southern Ocean cooling across the Eocene–Oligocene transition, Earth Planet. Sc. Lett., 317, 251–261, 2012.
Short summary
We show that seawater pH exerts a substantial control on planktic foraminifera Mg / Ca, a widely applied palaeothermometer. As a result, temperature reconstructions based on this proxy are likely inaccurate over climatic events associated with a significant change in pH. We examine the implications of our findings for hydrological and temperature shifts over the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum and for the degree of surface ocean precursor cooling before the Eocene-Oligocene transition.