The southwest Pacific Ocean covers a broad range of surface-water conditions ranging from warm, salty water in the subtropical East Australian Current to fresher, cold water in the Circumpolar Current. Using a new database of planktonic foraminifera assemblages (AUSMAT-F2), we demonstrate that the modern analog technique can be used to accurately reconstruct the magnitude of sea-surfacetemperature (SST) in this region. We apply this technique to data from 29 deep-sea cores along a meridional transect of the southwest Pacific Ocean to estimate the magnitude of SST cooling during the Last Glacial Maximum. We find minimal cooling in the tropics (0°-2°C), moderate cooling in the subtropical midlatitudes (2°-6°C), and maximum cooling to the southeast of New Zealand (6°-10°C). The magnitude of cooling at the sea surface from the tropics to the temperate latitudes is found to generally be less than cooling at the surface of adjacent land masses.