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Persistent influence of precession on northern ice sheet variability since the early Pleistocene

Barker, Stephen ORCID:, Starr, Aidan, van der Lubbe, Jeroen, Doughty, Alice, Knorr, Gregor, Conn, Stephen, Lordsmith, Sian, Owen, Lindsey, Nederbragt, Alexandra, Hemming, Sidney, Hall, Ian ORCID:, Levay, Leah, Berke, M. A., Brentegani, L., Caley, T., Cartagena-Sierra, A., Charles, C. D., Coenen, J. J., Crespin, J. G., Franzese, A. M., Gruetzner, J., Han, X., Hines, S. K. V., Jimenez Espejo, F. J., Just, J., Koutsodendris, A., Kubota, K., Lathika, N., Norris, R. D., Periera dos Santos, T., Robinson, R., Rolison, J. M., Simon, M. H., Tangunan, D., Yamane, M. and Zhang, H. 2022. Persistent influence of precession on northern ice sheet variability since the early Pleistocene. Science 376 (6596) , pp. 961-967. 10.1126/science.abm4033

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Prior to ~1 million years ago (Ma), variations in global ice volume were dominated by changes in obliquity; however, the role of precession remains unresolved. Using a record of North Atlantic ice rafting spanning the past 1.7 million years, we find that the onset of ice rafting within a given glacial cycle (reflecting ice sheet expansion) consistently occurred during times of decreasing obliquity whereas mass ice wasting (ablation) events were consistently tied to minima in precession. Furthermore, our results suggest that the ubiquitous association between precession-driven mass wasting events and glacial termination is a distinct feature of the mid to late Pleistocene. Before then (increasing), obliquity alone was sufficient to end a glacial cycle, before losing its dominant grip on deglaciation with the southward extension of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets since ~1 Ma.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN: 0036-8075
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 May 2022
Date of Acceptance: 21 April 2022
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2024 17:31

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