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Punctuated shutdown of Atlantic Meridional Overturning circulation during Greenland Stadial 1

The Greenland Stadial 1 (GS-1; ~12.9 to 11.65 kyr cal BP) was a period of North Atlantic cooling, thought to have been initiated by North America fresh water runof that caused a sustained reduction of North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), resulting in an antiphase temperature response between the hemispheres (the ‘bipolar seesaw’). Here we exploit sub-fossil New Zealand kauri trees to report the frst securely dated, decadally-resolved atmospheric radiocarbon (¹⁴C) record spanning GS-1. By precisely aligning Southern and Northern Hemisphere tree-ring ¹⁴C records with marine ¹⁴C sequences we document two relatively short periods of AMOC collapse during the stadial, at ~12,920-12,640 cal BP and 12,050-11,900 cal BP. In addition, our data show that the interhemispheric atmospheric ¹⁴C ofset was close to zero prior to GS-1, before reaching ‘near-modern’ values at ~12,660 cal BP, consistent with synchronous recovery of overturning in both hemispheres and increased Southern Ocean ventilation. Hence, sustained North Atlantic cooling across GS-1 was not driven by a prolonged AMOC reduction but probably due to an equatorward migration of the Polar Front, reducing the advection of southwesterly air masses to high latitudes. Our fndings suggest opposing hemispheric temperature trends were driven by atmospheric teleconnections, rather than AMOC changes.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Hogg, A. G., Southon, J., Turney, C., Palmer, J., Bronk Ramsey, C., Fenwick, P., … Wacker, L. (2016). Punctuated shutdown of Atlantic Meridional Overturning circulation during Greenland Stadial 1. Scientific Reports, 6(25902). http://doi.org/10.1038/srep25902
Nature Publishing Group/Macmillan Publishers Limited
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