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  1. Abstract

    Precisely targeted measurements of trace elements using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) reveal inter-chamber heterogeneities in specimens of the planktic foraminiferTrilobatus (Globigerinoides) sacculifer. We find that Mg/Ca ratios in the final growth chamber are generally lower compared to previous growth chambers, but final chamber Mg/Ca is elevated in one of thirteen sample intervals. Differences in distributions of Mg/Ca values from separate growth chambers are observed, occurring most often at lower Mg/Ca values, suggesting that single-chamber measurements may not be reflective of the specimen’s integrated Mg/Ca. We compared LA-ICPMS Mg/Ca values to paired, same-individual Mg/Ca measured via inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) to assess their correspondence. Paired LA-ICPMS and ICP-OES Mg/Ca show a maximum correlation coefficient of R = 0.92 (p < 0.05) achieved by applying a weighted average of the last and penultimate growth chambers. Population distributions of paired Mg/Ca values are identical under this weighting. These findings demonstrate that multi-chamber LA-ICPMS measurements can approximate entire specimen Mg/Ca, and is thus representative of the integrated conditions experienced during the specimen’s lifespan. This correspondence between LA-ICPMS and ICP-OES data links these methods and demonstrates that both generate Mg/Ca values suitable for individual foraminifera palaeoceanographic reconstructions.

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  2. Abstract

    The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is highly dependent on coupled atmosphere-ocean interactions and feedbacks, suggesting a tight relationship between ENSO strength and background climate conditions. However, the extent to which background climate state determines ENSO behavior remains in question. Here we present reconstructions of total variability and El Niño amplitude from individual foraminifera distributions at discrete time intervals over the past ~285,000 years across varying atmospheric CO2levels, global ice volume and sea level, and orbital insolation forcing. Our results show a strong correlation between eastern tropical Pacific Ocean mixed-layer thickness and both El Niño amplitude and central Pacific variability. This ENSO-thermocline relationship implicates upwelling feedbacks as the major factor controlling ENSO strength on millennial time scales. The primacy of the upwelling feedback in shaping ENSO behavior across many different background states suggests accurate quantification and modeling of this feedback is essential for predicting ENSO’s behavior under future climate conditions.

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