Multiproxy paleoenvironmental records (pollen and planktonic isotope) from Ocean Drilling Program Site 976 (Alboran Sea) document rapid ocean and climate variations during the last glacial that follow the Dansgaard-Oeschger climate oscillations seen in the Greenland ice core records, thus suggesting a close link of the Mediterranean climate swings with North Atlantic climates. Continental conditions rapidly oscillated through cold-arid and warm-wet conditions in the course of stadial-interstadial climate jumps. At the time of Heinrich events, i.e., maximum meltwater flux to the North Atlantic, western Mediterranean marine microflora and microfauna show rapid cooling correlated with increasing continental dryness. Enhanced aridity conceivably points to prolonged wintertime stability of atmospheric high-pressure systems over the southwestern Mediterranean in conjunction with cooling of the North Atlantic.

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