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Unstable Younger Dryas climate in the northeast North Atlantic

Hanne Ebbesen and Morten Hald
Unstable Younger Dryas climate in the northeast North Atlantic
Geology (Boulder) (August 2004) 32 (8): 673-676


The Younger Dryas stadial (Greenland Stadial 1) has long been recognized in proxy records throughout the North Atlantic region as a stable, cool period that started and ended abruptly. However, modeling experiments in which the Younger Dryas cooling was forced by meltwater predict much more unstable climatic conditions compared to the proxy records. Here we present evidence of a climatically unstable Younger Dryas based on a decadal-resolution marine proxy record from the Norwegian continental shelf. This record shows that the North Atlantic was characterized in the early Younger Dryas by Arctic Water and an increasing accumulation of fresh surface water that peaked at 12,500 calendar yr B.P. For approximately 300 yr during the late Younger Dryas, the sea-surface temperatures fluctuated between glacial values ( approximately 2 degrees C) and interglacial values ( approximately 10 degrees C) on a subdecadal to multidecadal time scale. This period of extreme instability preceded the more stable and warm Holocene, starting ca. 11,500 calendar yr B.P. These results are consistent with modeling experiments that link the Younger Dryas climate changes to fluctuations of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 32
Serial Issue: 8
Title: Unstable Younger Dryas climate in the northeast North Atlantic
Affiliation: University of Tromso, Department of Geology, Tromso, Norway
Pages: 673-676
Published: 200408
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 28
Accession Number: 2004-066111
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sketch map
N69°15'00" - N69°16'00", E16°25'00" - E16°25'60"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200419
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