New constraints on European glacial freshwater releases to the North Atlantic Ocean

During the late Quaternary, both external and internal forcings have driven major climatic shifts from glacial to interglacial conditions. Nonlinear climatic steps characterized the transitions leading to these extrema, with intermediate excursions particularly well expressed in the dynamics of the Northern Hemisphere cryosphere. Here we document the impact of these dynamics on the north-eastern North Atlantic Ocean, focussing on the 35-10 ka interval. Sea-surface salinities have been reconstructed quantitatively based on two independent methods from core MD95-2002, recovered from the northern Bay of Biscay adjacent to the axis of the Manche paleoriver outlet and thus in connection with proximal European ice sheets and glaciers. Quantitative reconstructions deriving from dinocyst and planktonic foraminiferal analyses have been combined within a robust chronology to assess the amplitude and timing of hydrological changes in this region. Our study evidences strong pulsed freshwater discharges which may have impacted the North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.

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Eynaud Frederique, Malaize Bruno, Zaragosi Sebastien, de Vernal Anne, Scourse James, Pujol Claude, Cortijo Elsa, Grousset Francis E., Penaud Aurelie, Toucanne Samuel, Turon Jean-Louis, Auffret Gerard (2012). New constraints on European glacial freshwater releases to the North Atlantic Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters. 39. -.,

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