A team of scientists, including University of Southampton scientists who are based at the National Oceanography Centre, have shed new light on the world’s history of climate change.
The Pacific Ocean has remained the largest of all oceans on the planet for many million years. It covers one third of the Earth’s surface and has a mean depth of 4.2 km. Its biologically productive equatorial regions play an important role particularly to the global carbon cycle and long-term climate development.
During a four-month expedition of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Programme (IODP) on board the US drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution an international team of more than 100 scientists and technicians recovered 6.3 kilometers of sediment cores from water depths between 4.3 and 5.1 km and drilled 6.3 km of sediment cores at eight locations.
The cores offered an excellent archive of Earth’s history and showed how global climate development during the past 55 million years is mirrored and influenced by geochemical processes deep within the ocean.
The findings are published in the latest edition of Nature.