Annually resolved North Atlantic marine climate over the last millennium
Nature Publishing Group
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Owing to the lack of absolutely dated oceanographic information before the modern instrumental period, there is currently significant debate as to the role played by North Atlantic Ocean dynamics in previous climate transitions (for example, Medieval Climate Anomaly-Little Ice Age, MCA-LIA). Here we present analyses of a millennial-length, annually resolved and absolutely dated marine δ(18)O archive. We interpret our record of oxygen isotope ratios from the shells of the long-lived marine bivalve Arctica islandica (δ(18)O-shell), from the North Icelandic shelf, in relation to seawater density variability and demonstrate that solar and volcanic forcing coupled with ocean circulation dynamics are key drivers of climate variability over the last millennium. During the pre-industrial period (AD 1000-1800) variability in the sub-polar North Atlantic leads changes in Northern Hemisphere surface air temperatures at multi-decadal timescales, indicating that North Atlantic Ocean dynamics played an active role in modulating the response of the atmosphere to solar and volcanic forcing.
We thank the members of the RV Bjarni Sæmundsson (Cruise No. B05-2006). This work was supported by the NERC-funded ULTRA project (Grant Number NE/H023356/1), NERC-funded CLAM project; (Project No. NE/N001176/1) and EU Millennium Project (Project number 017008). This study is a contribution to the Climate Change Consortium for Wales (C3W). We thank Brian Long (Bangor University) and Dr Julia Becker (Cardiff University) for their technical support, and Dr Manfred Mudelsee for his assistance with the trend analysis. We thank Dr Jessica Tierney and an anonymous reviewer for providing the constructive comments in the reviewing process.
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Vol. 7, article 13502
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