Synchronous timing of abrupt climate changes during the last glacial period

Thursday, August 20, 2020 - 13:00 in Earth & Climate

Abrupt climate changes during the last glacial period have been detected in a global array of palaeoclimate records, but our understanding of their absolute timing and regional synchrony is incomplete. Our compilation of 63 published, independently dated speleothem records shows that abrupt warmings in Greenland were associated with synchronous climate changes across the Asian Monsoon, South American Monsoon, and European-Mediterranean regions that occurred within decades. Together with the demonstration of bipolar synchrony in atmospheric response, this provides independent evidence of synchronous high-latitude–to-tropical coupling of climate changes during these abrupt warmings. Our results provide a globally coherent framework with which to validate model simulations of abrupt climate change and to constrain ice-core chronologies.

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