North Atlantic ocean circulation and abrupt climate change during the last glaciation

Henry, L. G. and McManus, J. F. and Curry, W. B. and Roberts, N. L. and Piotrowski, A. M. and Keigwin, L. D. (2016) North Atlantic ocean circulation and abrupt climate change during the last glaciation. Science, 353 (6298). pp. 470-474. ISSN 0036-8075 (print), 1095-9203 (online) DOI 10.1126/science.aaf5529

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Official URL: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/353/6298/470...

Abstract

The most recent ice age was characterized by rapid and hemispherically asynchronous climate oscillations, whose origin remains unresolved. Variations in oceanic meridional heat transport may contribute to these repeated climate changes, which were most pronounced during marine isotope stage 3, the glacial interval 25 thousand to 60 thousand years ago. We examined climate and ocean circulation proxies throughout this interval at high resolution in a deep North Atlantic sediment core, combining the kinematic tracer protactinium/thorium (Pa/Th) with the deep water-mass tracer, epibenthic δ13C. These indicators suggest reduced Atlantic overturning circulation during every cool northern stadial, with the greatest reductions during episodic Hudson Strait iceberg discharges, while sharp northern warming followed reinvigorated overturning. These results provide direct evidence for the ocean’s persistent, central role in abrupt glacial climate change.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2016AREP; IA71
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Science
Volume: 353
Page Range: pp. 470-474
Identification Number: 10.1126/science.aaf5529
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2016 16:45
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2016 16:45
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3739

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