Last interglacial ocean changes in the Bahamas: climate teleconnections between low and high latitudes

Type Article
Date 2018-10
Language English
Author(s) Zhuravleva Anastasia1, Bauch Henning A.2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Mainz GEOMAR Helmholtz Ctr Ocean Res, Acad Sci Humanities & Literature, Wischhofstr 1-3, D-24148 Kiel, Germany.
2 : GEOMAR Helmholtz Ctr Ocean Res, Helmholtz Ctr Polar & Marine Res, Alfred Wegener Inst, Wischhofstr 1-3, D-24148 Kiel, Germany.
Source Climate Of The Past (1814-9324) (Copernicus Gesellschaft Mbh), 2018-10 , Vol. 14 , N. 10 , P. 1361-1375
DOI 10.5194/cp-14-1361-2018
WOS© Times Cited 2

Paleorecords and modeling studies suggest that instabilities in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) strongly affect the low-latitude climate, namely via feedbacks on the Atlantic Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Despite the pronounced millennial-scale overturning and climatic variability documented in the subpolar North Atlantic during the last interglacial period (MIS 5e), studies on cross-latitudinal teleconnections remain very limited. This precludes a full understanding of the mechanisms controlling subtropical climate evolution across the last warm cycle. Here, we present new planktic foraminiferal assemblage data combined with delta O-18 values in surface and thermocline-dwelling foraminifera from the Bahamas, a region ideally suited to studying past changes in the subtropical ocean and atmosphere. Our data reveal that the peak sea surface warmth during early MIS 5e was intersected by an abrupt millennial-scale cooling/salinification event, which was possibly associated with a sudden southward displacement of the mean annual ITCZ position. This atmospheric shift is, in turn, ascribed to the transitional climatic regime of early MIS 5e, which was characterized by persistent ocean freshening in the high latitudes and an unstable AMOC mode.

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