Abstract

Planktonic foraminiferal oxygen isotope records from the western and eastern tropical Pacific and Atlantic Oceans suggest a southward shift in the Intertropical Convergence Zone toward its modern location between 4.4 and 4.3 Ma. A concomitant shift in the carbon isotope compositions of Atlantic benthic foraminifera provides strong evidence for an increased thermohaline overturn at this time. We suggest that the southward shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone and associated change in trade-wind circulation altered equatorial surface hydrography, increased the advection of warmer and more saline surface waters into the subtropical and North Atlantic, and contributed to thermohaline overturn.

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