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      Sea-surface temperature from coral skeletal strontium/calcium ratios.

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          Abstract

          Seasonal records of tropical sea-surface temperature (SST) over the past 10(5) years can be recovered from high-precision measurements of coral strontium/calcium ratios with the use of thermal ionization mass spectrometry. The temperature dependence of these ratios was calibrated with corals collected at SST recording stations and by (18)O/(16)O thermometry. The results suggest that mean monthly SST may be determined with an apparent accuracy of better than 0.5 degrees C. Measurements on a fossil coral indicate that 10,200 years ago mean annual SSTs near Vanuatu in the southwestern Pacific Ocean were about 5 degrees C colder than today and that seasonal variations in SST were larger. These data suggest that tropical climate zones were compressed toward the equator during deglaciation.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Science
          Science (New York, N.Y.)
          American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
          0036-8075
          0036-8075
          Jul 31 1992
          : 257
          : 5070
          Article
          257/5070/644
          10.1126/science.257.5070.644
          17740731
          593a089b-a15b-436d-bd1d-e3bce52c57e1
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