Glacial Warming in the Eastern Pacific Warm Pool

Dervla Meegan Kumar, Jessica E. Tierney, Tripti Bhattacharya, Jiang Zhu, James W. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Eastern Pacific Warm Pool (EPWP) modulates global climate through its connection with tropical Pacific circulation, but sparse paleoceanographic data from this region limits our understanding of its role in past climate variability. We present a 144 kyr alkenone-sea surface temperature (SST) reconstruction from core NH22P, located in the northern EPWP, that shows local warming occurred during periods of global cooling. Climate model simulations of the Last Glacial Maximum indicate that both ice sheet and greenhouse gas forcing slowed wind speeds over the EPWP, which attenuated glacial cooling of local SST via the wind-evaporation-SST feedback. Spectral analysis further suggests precessional pacing of the warming spikes. Vernal equinox insolation could explain this pacing as direct shortwave heating during boreal spring would have contributed to the early seasonal intensification of the EPWP. This work provides crucial constraints on tropical Pacific glacial climate variability and highlights the unique response of the EPWP to global climate forcings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022GL098830
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 28 2022


  • Eastern Pacific Warm Pool
  • ITCZ
  • Last Glacial Maximum
  • SST
  • alkenone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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