Deciphering Temperature Seasonality in Earth's Ancient Oceans

Linda C. Ivany, Emily J. Judd

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Ongoing global warming due to anthropogenic climate change has long been recognized, yet uncertainties regarding how seasonal extremes will change in the future persist. Paleoseasonal proxy data from intervals when global climate differed from today can help constrain how and why the annual temperature cycle has varied through space and time. Records of past seasonal variation in marine temperatures are available in the oxygen isotope values of serially sampled accretionary organisms. The most useful data sets come from carefully designed and computationally robust studies that enable characterization of paleoseasonal parameters and seamless integration with mean annual temperature data sets and climate models. Seasonal data sharpen interpretations of mdash and quantify overlooked or unconstrained seasonal biases in mdash the more voluminous mean temperature data and aid in the evaluation of climate model performance. Methodologies to rigorously analyze seasonal data are now available, and the promise of paleoseasonal proxy data for the next generation of paleoclimate research is significant. squf The seasonal cycle defines climate and its constraints on biology, both today and in the deep past. squf Paleoseasonal data improve proxy-based estimates of mean annual temperature and validate Earth System Model simulations. squf Large, internally consistent data sets can reveal robust spatiotemporal climate patterns on the ancient Earth and how they change with pCO binf 2 einf . squf Computational tools enable rigorous numerical analysis of paleoseasonal data for comparison with other paleoclimate data and model output.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-152
Number of pages30
JournalAnnual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
StatePublished - May 31 2022


  • model
  • paleoclimate
  • sclerochronology
  • sea surface temperatures
  • seasonality
  • stable isotope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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