Abstract

There is increasing evidence that the preceding Holocene climate was as unstable as the last glacial period, although variations occurred at much lower amplitudes. However, low-latitude climate records that confirm this variability are sparse. Here we present a radiocarbon-dated Holocene marine record from the tropical western Atlantic. Aragonite dissolution derived from the degree of preservation of the pteropod Limacina inflata records changes in the corrosiveness of the bottom water at the core site due to the changing influence of northern versus southern water masses. The δ18O difference between the shallow-living planktonic foraminifera Globigerinoides sacculifer and the deep-living Globorotalia tumida is used as proxy for changes in the vertical stratification of the surface water, hence the trade wind strength at this latitude. We compared our data to high-latitude records of the North Atlantic region. A good agreement is found between the aragonite dissolution and the strength in the Island-Scotland Overflow Water, which contributes significantly to the North Atlantic Deep Water. This suggests that large-scale variations in the Atlantic thermohaline circulation occurred throughout the Holocene. Concurrently, the comparison of our Δδ18O with the GISP2 glaciochemical records points to global Holocene atmospheric reorganizations seen in both the tropics and high northern latitudes.

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