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Precise interpolar phasing of abrupt climate change during the last ice age

TitlePrecise interpolar phasing of abrupt climate change during the last ice age
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBuizert C, Adrian B., Ahn J., Albert M., Alley R.B, Baggenstos D, Bauska T.K, Bay R.C, Bencivengo B.B, Bentley C.R, Brook E.J, Chellman N.J, Clow G.D, Cole-Dai J., Conway H., Cravens E., Cuffey K.M, Dunbar N.W, Edwards J.S, Fegyveresi J.M, Ferris D.G, Fitzpatrick J.J, Fudge T.J, Gibson C.J, Gkinis V., Goetz J.J, Gregory S., Hargreaves G.M, Iverson N., Johnson J.A, Jones T.R, Kalk M.L, Kippenhan M.J, Koffman B.G, Kreutz K., Kuhl T.W, Lebar D.A, Lee J.E, Marcott S.A, Markle B.R, Maselli O.J, McConnell J.R, McGwire K.C, Mitchell L.E, Mortensen N.B, Neff P.D, Nishiizumi K., Nunn R.M, Orsi A.J, Pasteris D.R, Pedro J.B, Pettit E.C, Price P.B, Priscu J.C, Rhodes R.H, Rosen J.L, Schauer A.J, Schoenemann S.W, Sendelbach P.J, Severinghaus JP, Shturmakov A.J, Sigl M., Slawny K.R, Souney J.M, Sowers T.A, Spencer M.K, Steig E.J, Taylor K.C, Twickler M.S, Vaughn B.H, Voigt D.E, Waddington E.D, Welten K.C, Wendricks A.W, White J.WC, Winstrup M., Wong G.J, Woodruff T.E, Members WDivide Pro
Date Published2015/04
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0028-0836
Accession NumberWOS:000353689700046
Keywordsantarctic ice; atmospheric co2; bipolar seesaw; chronology aicc2012; core record; glacial period; greenland; ocean model; polar ice; wais divide

The last glacial period exhibited abrupt Dansgaard-Oeschger climatic oscillations, evidence of which is preserved in a variety of Northern Hemisphere palaeodimate archives'. Ice cores show that Antarctica cooled during the warm phases of the Greenland Dansgaard-Oeschger cycle and vice versa''', suggesting an interhemispheric redistribution of heat through a mechanism called the bipolar seesaw(4-6). Variations in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) strength are thought to have been important, but much uncertainty remains regarding the dynamics and trigger of these abrupt events'. Key information is contained in the relative phasing of hemispheric climate variations, yet the large, poorly constrained difference between gas age and ice age and the relatively low resolution of methane records from Antarctic ice cores have so far precluded methane-based synchronization at the required sub-centennial precision''''". Here we use a recently drilled high-accumulation Antarctic ice core to show that, on average, abrupt Greenland warming leads the corresponding Antarctic cooling onset by 218 +/- 92 years (2 sigma a) for DansgaardOeschger events, including the Bolling event; Greenland cooling leads the corresponding onset of Antarctic warming by 208 +/- 96 years. Our results demonstrate a north-to-south directionality of the abrupt climatic signal, which is propagated to the Southern Hemisphere high latitudes by oceanic rather than atmospheric processes. The similar interpolar phasing of warming and cooling transitions suggests that the transfer time of the climatic signal is independent of the AMOC background state. Our findings confirm a central role for ocean circulation in the bipolar seesaw and provide clear criteria for assessing hypotheses and model simulations of Dansgaard-Oeschger dynamics.

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