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      Sea-surface salinity variations in the northern Caribbean Sea across the Mid-Pleistocene Transition

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      Climate of the Past
      Copernicus GmbH

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          Abstract

          Abstract. By reconstructing past hydrologic variations in the Northern Caribbean Sea and their influence on the stability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) during the last 940 ka, we seek to document climate changes in this tropical area in response to the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT). Using core MD03-2628, we estimated past changes in sea surface salinity (SSS) using Δδ18O, the difference between the modern, and the past δ18O of seawater (obtained by combining alkenone thermometer data with the δ18O of the planktonic foraminifera Globigerinoides rube (white) and corrected for ice-sheet volume effects). Today, the lowest SSS values in the area studied are associated with the northernmost location of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The Δδ18O record obtained from core MD03-2628 exhibits glacial/interglacial cyclicity with higher values during all glacial periods spanning the last 940 ka, indicating increased SSS. A long-term trend was also observed in the Δδ18O values that exhibited a shift toward lower values for interglacial periods during the last 450 ka, as compared to interglacial stages older than 650 ka. A rise in SSS during glacial stages may be related to the southernmost location of the ITCZ, which is induced by a steeper cross-equator temperature gradient and associated with reduced northward cross-equatorial oceanic transport. Therefore, the results suggest a permanent link between the tropical salinity budget and the AMOC during the last 940 ka. Following the MPT, lower salinities during the last five interglacial stages indicated a northernmost ITCZ location that was forced by changes in the cross-equator temperature gradient and that was associated with the poleward position of Southern Oceanic Fronts that amplify the transport of heat and moisture to the North Atlantic. These processes may have contributed to the amplification of the climate cycles that followed the MPT.

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          A Pliocene-Pleistocene stack of 57 globally distributed benthic δ18O records

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            High-resolution carbon dioxide concentration record 650,000-800,000 years before present.

            Changes in past atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations can be determined by measuring the composition of air trapped in ice cores from Antarctica. So far, the Antarctic Vostok and EPICA Dome C ice cores have provided a composite record of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels over the past 650,000 years. Here we present results of the lowest 200 m of the Dome C ice core, extending the record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration by two complete glacial cycles to 800,000 yr before present. From previously published data and the present work, we find that atmospheric carbon dioxide is strongly correlated with Antarctic temperature throughout eight glacial cycles but with significantly lower concentrations between 650,000 and 750,000 yr before present. Carbon dioxide levels are below 180 parts per million by volume (p.p.m.v.) for a period of 3,000 yr during Marine Isotope Stage 16, possibly reflecting more pronounced oceanic carbon storage. We report the lowest carbon dioxide concentration measured in an ice core, which extends the pre-industrial range of carbon dioxide concentrations during the late Quaternary by about 10 p.p.m.v. to 172-300 p.p.m.v.
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              Estimates of Meridional Atmosphere and Ocean Heat Transports

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Climate of the Past
                Clim. Past
                Copernicus GmbH
                1814-9332
                2011
                February 11 2011
                : 7
                : 1
                : 75-90
                Article
                10.5194/cp-7-75-2011
                6c3b082a-4728-4600-95b7-39ab0d301986
                © 2011

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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