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June 27th, 2004

Millenial-scale changes in Pacific surface temperature, Patagonian ice extent studied

Joe Stoner participated in a German-led study of marine sediments from the Chilean continental margin that show a clear "Antarctic" timing of sea surface temperature changes. The changes appeared to be systematically linked to meridional displacements in sea ice, westerly winds, and the circumpolar current system. Proxy data for ice sheet changes showed a similar pattern as oceanographic variations offshore, but revealed a variable glacier-response time of up to 1000 years, which may explain some of the current discrepancies among terrestrial records in southern South America. Their research was published in Science, 25 June 2004.