Greenland Temperature Response to Climate Forcing during the Last Deglaciation Public Deposited

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  • Greenland ice core water isotopic composition (δ¹⁸O) provides detailed evidence for abrupt climate changes, but is by itself insufficient for quantitative reconstruction of past temperatures and their spatial patterns. We investigate Greenland temperature evolution during the last deglaciation using independent reconstructions from three ice cores and simulations with a coupled ocean-atmosphere climate model. Contrary to the traditional δ¹⁸O interpretation, the Younger Dryas period was 4.5±2°C warmer than the Oldest Dryas, due to increased CO₂ forcing and summer insolation. The magnitude of abrupt temperature changes is larger in central Greenland (9-14°C) than in the northwest (5-9°C), fingerprinting a North-Atlantic origin. Simulated changes in temperature seasonality closely track changes in the Atlantic overturning strength, and support the hypothesis that abrupt climate change is mostly a winter phenomenon.
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  • Buizert, C., Gkinis, V., Severinghaus, J. P., He, F., Lecavalier, B. S., Kindler, P., . . . Brook, E. J. (2014). Greenland temperature response to climate forcing during the last deglaciation. Science, 345(6201), 1177-1180. doi:10.1126/science.1254961
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  • 345
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  • 6201
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  • We acknowledge funding through NSF grant 08-06377 (J.P.S.), the NOAA Climate & Global Change fellowship program, administered by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (C.B.), and the US NSF P2C2 program (A.C., Z.L., F.H. and B. O.-B.). This research used resources of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, located in the National Center for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is supported by the Office of Science of the Department of Energy under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725. NEEM is directed and organized by the Center of Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute and US NSF, Office of Polar Programs. It is supported by funding agencies and institutions in Belgium (FNRS-CFB and FWO), Canada (NRCan/GSC), China (CAS), Denmark (FIST), France (IPEV, CNRS/INSU, CEA and ANR), Germany (AWI), Iceland (RannIs), Japan (NIPR), Korea (KOPRI), The Netherlands (NWO/ALW), Sweden (VR), Switzerland (SNF), United Kingdom (NERC) and the USA (US NSF, Office of Polar Programs). NEEM data and temperature reconstructions are provided as supplementary data files.
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