A 0.5-million-year record of millennial-scale climate variability in the north atlantic

TitleA 0.5-million-year record of millennial-scale climate variability in the north atlantic
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsMcManus, JF, Oppo, DW, Cullen, JL
JournalScience
Volume283
Issue5404
Pagination971-5
Date PublishedFeb 12
ISBN Number1095-9203 (Electronic)0036-8075 (Linking)
Abstract

Long, continuous, marine sediment records from the subpolar North Atlantic document the glacial modulation of regional climate instability throughout the past 0.5 million years. Whenever ice sheet size surpasses a critical threshold indicated by the benthic oxygen isotope (delta18O) value of 3.5 per mil during each of the past five glaciation cycles, indicators of iceberg discharge and sea-surface temperature display dramatically larger amplitudes of millennial-scale variability than when ice sheets are small. Sea-surface temperature oscillations of 1 degrees to 2 degreesC increase in size to approximately 4 degrees to 6 degreesC, and catastrophic iceberg discharges begin alternating repeatedly with brief quiescent intervals. The glacial growth associated with this amplification threshold represents a relatively small departure from the modern ice sheet configuration and sea level. Instability characterizes nearly all observed climate states, with the exception of a limited range of baseline conditions that includes the current Holocene interglacial.

URLhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9974387