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Timing of the descent into the last ice age determined by the bipolar seesaw

Barker, Stephen ORCID: and Diz, Paula 2014. Timing of the descent into the last ice age determined by the bipolar seesaw. Paleoceanography 29 (6) , pp. 489-507. 10.1002/2014PA002623

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We present planktonic foraminiferal fauna and isotope records from the SE Atlantic that highlight the nature of millennial-scale variability over the last 100 kyr. We derive an hypothesis-driven age model for our records based on the empirical link between variations in Greenland temperature, ocean circulation and carbonate preservation in the deep SE Atlantic. Our results extend earlier findings of an anti-phase (seesaw) relationship between north and south for the largest abrupt events of Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3-2 and the last deglaciation. In particular we find that Heinrich Stadials were paralleled by inferred southward shifts of the thermal Subtropical Front. These were followed by pronounced rebounds of the front with the return to interstadial conditions in the north. Our results also shed light on the mechanism of glaciation. In contrast to the last deglaciation, which was a globally symmetric change superposed by interhemispheric asynchronicity, we find that the descent into full glacial conditions at the onset of MIS 4 (~70 ka) displayed interhemispheric synchrony. We suggest that this globally synchronous descent into glacial MIS 4 was preconditioned by orbital changes but that the timing was ultimately determined by abrupt changes in ocean / atmosphere circulation patterns i.e. the bipolar seesaw.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
ISSN: 0883-8305
Funders: NERC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 9 May 2014
Last Modified: 13 May 2023 18:17

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