alkenone

noun al·ke·none \ ˈal-kə-ˌnōn \

Definition of alkenone

plural alkenones
:any of various long-chain unsaturated ketones that are produced by phytoplanktonic algae (such as the coccolithophores)
Note: Analysis of the chemical structure of alkenones present in marine sediment is used as a method to determine past sea temperatures.
  • To further the current climate debate, the chapter “Deep Sea Mud” explains how compounds such as alkenones, left by the marine alga Emiliania huxleyi, among other species, provide a temperature proxy.
  • —Karen Bushaw-NewtonBioscience1 Sept. 2009

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