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The spatial extent and dynamics of the Antarctic Cold Reversal

Abstract : Antarctic ice cores show that a millennial-scale cooling event, the Antarctic Cold Reversal (14,700 to 13,000 years ago), interrupted the last deglaciation1–3. The Antarctic Cold Reversal coincides with the Bølling–Allerød warm stage in the North Atlantic, providing an example of the inter-hemispheric coupling of abrupt climate change generally referred to as the bipolar seesaw4–9. However, the ocean–atmosphere dynamics governing this coupling are debated10–15. Here we examine the extent and expression of the Antarctic Cold Reversal in the Southern Hemisphere using a synthesis of 84 palaeoclimate records.We find that the cooling is strongest in the South Atlantic and all regions south of 40 S. At the same time, the terrestrial tropics and subtropics show abrupt hydrologic variations that are significantly correlated with North Atlantic climate changes. Our transient global climate model simulations indicate that the observed extent of Antarctic Cold Reversal cooling can be explained by enhanced northward ocean heat transport from the South to North Atlantic10, amplified by the expansion and thickening of sea ice in the Southern Ocean. The hydrologic variations at lower latitudes result from an opposing enhancement of southward heat transport in the atmosphere mediated by the Hadley circulation. Our findings reconcile previous arguments about the relative dominance of ocean5,10,11 and atmospheric14,15 heat transports in inter-hemispheric coupling, demonstrating that the spatial pattern of past millennial-scale climate change reflects the superposition of both.
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Joel B. Pedro, Helen C. Bostock, Cecilia M. Bitz, Feng He, Marcus J. Vandergoes, et al.. The spatial extent and dynamics of the Antarctic Cold Reversal. Nature Geoscience, Nature Publishing Group, 2016, 9 (1), pp.51 - 55. ⟨10.1038/NGEO2580⟩. ⟨hal-01817623⟩



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