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The two-step shape and timing of the last deglaciation in Antarctica

Abstract

The two-step character of the last deglaciation is well recognized in Western Europe, in Greenland and in the North Atlantic. For example, in Greenland, a gradual temperature decrease started at the Bölling (B) around 14.5 ky BP, spanned through the Alleröd (A) and was followed by the cold Younger Dryas (YD) event which terminated abruptly around 11.5 ky BP. Recent results suggest that this BA/YD sequence may have extended throughout all the Northern Hemisphere but the evidence of a late transition cooling is still poor for the Southern Hemisphere. Here we present a detailed isotopic record analyzed in a new ice core drilled at Dome B in East Antarctica that fully demonstrates the existence of an Antarctic cold reversal (ACR). These results suggest that the two-step shape of the last deglaciation has a worldwide character but they also point to noticeable interhemispheric differences. Thus, the coldest part of the ACR, which shows a temperature drop about three times weaker than that recorded during the YD in Greenland, may have preceded the YD. Antarctica did not experienced abrupt changes and the two warming periods started there before they started in Greenland. The links between Southern and Northern Hemisphere climates throughout this period are discussed in the light of additional information derived from the Antarctic dust record.

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Jouzel, J., Vaikmae, R., Petit, J.R. et al. The two-step shape and timing of the last deglaciation in Antarctica. Climate Dynamics 11, 151–161 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00223498

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Keywords

  • Dust
  • Northern Hemisphere
  • Southern Hemisphere
  • Late Transition
  • Warming Period