Articles | Volume 15, issue 6
Research article
15 Nov 2019
Research article |  | 15 Nov 2019

A South Atlantic island record uncovers shifts in westerlies and hydroclimate during the last glacial

Svante Björck, Jesper Sjolte, Karl Ljung, Florian Adolphi, Roger Flower, Rienk H. Smittenberg, Malin E. Kylander, Thomas F. Stocker, Sofia Holmgren, Hui Jiang, Raimund Muscheler, Yamoah K. K. Afrifa, Jayne E. Rattray, and Nathalie Van der Putten

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Cited articles

Ahn, J. and Brook, E. J.: Siple Dome ice reveals two modes of millennial CO2 change during the last ice age, Nat. Commun., 5, 3723,, 2014. 
Andersen, K. K., Svensson, A., Johnsen, S., Rasmussen, S. O., Bigler, M., Röthlisberger, R., Ruth, U., Siggaard-Andersen, M. L., Steffensen, J. P., Dahl-Jensen, D., Vinther, B. M., and Clausen, H. B.: The Greenland Ice Core Chronology 2005, 15–42 ka. Part 1: Constructing the time scale, Quaternary Sci. Rev. 25, 3246–3257,, 2006. 
Anker Björk, A., Björck, S., Cronholm, A., Haile, J., Ljung, K., and Porter, C.: Possible Late Pleistocene volcanic activity on Nightingale Island, South Atlantic ocean, based on geoelectrical resistivity measurements, sediment corings and 14C dating, GFF, 133, 1–7,, 2011. 
Bard, E. and Rickaby, R. E. M.: Migration of the subtropical front as a modulator of glacial climate, Nature, 460, 380–383,, 2009. 
Barker, S. and Diz, P.: Timing of the descent into the last Ice Age determined by the bipolar seesaw, Paleoceanography, 29, 489–507,, 2014. 
Short summary
Southern Hemisphere westerlies play a key role in regulating global climate. A lake sediment record on a mid-South Atlantic island shows changes in the westerlies and hydroclimate 36.4–18.6 ka. Before 31 ka the westerlies shifted in concert with the bipolar seesaw mechanism in a fairly warm climate, followed by southerly westerlies and falling temperatures. After 27.5 ka temperatures dropped 3 °C with drier conditions and with shifting westerlies possibly triggering the variable LGM CO2 levels.