|ABSTRACT||The astronomical theory of climate has revolutionized our understanding of past climate change and the development of highly accurate geologic time scales throughout the Cenozoic. Most of this understanding has started with the construction of high-resolution stable oxygen isotope (d18O) records from planktonic and benthic foraminifera of open ocean deep marine sediments explored by international drilling operations, such as DSDP, ODP and IODP. This work has culminated into global ocean isotopic stacked records that encompassed the past 5 million years for the precession and obliquity tuned time series, towards the entire Cenozoic for tuning on an eccentricity scale. In the meantime, astronomers increased the accuracy of their orbital calculations, which enabled tuning the geological archives further back in time.
In this talk I will highlight the astronomically calibrated time scale for the Pliocene and Pleistocene of the Mediterranean, which has become the standard reference of the Geologic Time Scales 2004 and 2012. I will present the first benthic d18O record of this reference scale and its comparison with the open ocean stacked records and discuss its potential to constrain phase relations in the climate system and global sea level changes over the past 5.3 million years.|