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A spatiotemporal reconstruction of sea-surface temperatures in the North Atlantic during Dansgaard-Oeschger events 5-8

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Mari F. Jensen
  • Aleksi Nummelin
  • Søren B. Nielsen
  • Henrik Sadatzki
  • Evangeline Sessford
  • Bjorg Risebrobakken
  • Carin Andersson
  • Antje Voelker
  • William H.G. Roberts
  • Joel Pedro
  • Andreas Born
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-922
Number of pages22
JournalClimate of the Past
Issue number6
Early online date26 Jun 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Jun 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 26 Jun 2018
DatePublished (current) - Jun 2018


Here, we establish a spatiotemporal evolution of the sea-surface temperatures in the North Atlantic over Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) events 5-8 (approximately 30-40ĝ€kyr) using the proxy surrogate reconstruction method. Proxy data suggest a large variability in North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures during the DO events of the last glacial period. However, proxy data availability is limited and cannot provide a full spatial picture of the oceanic changes. Therefore, we combine fully coupled, general circulation model simulations with planktic foraminifera based sea-surface temperature reconstructions to obtain a broader spatial picture of the ocean state during DO events 5-8. The resulting spatial sea-surface temperature patterns agree over a number of different general circulation models and simulations. We find that sea-surface temperature variability over the DO events is characterized by colder conditions in the subpolar North Atlantic during stadials than during interstadials, and the variability is linked to changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning circulation and in the sea-ice cover. Forced simulations are needed to capture the strength of the temperature variability and to reconstruct the variability in other climatic records not directly linked to the sea-surface temperature reconstructions. This is the first time the proxy surrogate reconstruction method has been applied to oceanic variability during MIS3. Our results remain robust, even when age uncertainties of proxy data, the number of available temperature reconstructions, and different climate models are considered. However, we also highlight shortcomings of the methodology that should be addressed in future implementations.

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