Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-154
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-154

  01 Dec 2021

01 Dec 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Palaeobiological evidence for Southern Hemisphere Younger Dryas and volcanogenic cold periods

Richard N. Holdaway1,2,3 Richard N. Holdaway
  • 1Palaecol Research Ltd, P.O. Box 16569, Hornby, Christchurch 8042, New Zealand
  • 2School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand
  • 3School of Earth and Environment, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand

Abstract. Current consensus places a Southern Hemisphere post-glacial cooling episode earlier than the Younger Dryas in the Northern Hemisphere. New Zealand sequences of glacial moraines and speleothem isotopic data are generally interpreted as supporting the absence of a Southern Hemisphere Younger Dryas. Radiocarbon age series of habitat specialist moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) show, however, that a sudden return to glacial climate in central New Zealand contemporary with the Younger Dryas. The cooling followed significant warming, not cooling, during the period of the Antarctic Cold Reversal. In addition, the moa sequence chronology also shows that the Oruanui (New Zealand) and Mt Takahe (Antarctica) volcanic eruptions were contemporary with abrupt cooling events in New Zealand. The independent high spatial and temporal resolution climate chronology reported here is contrary to an inter-hemispheric post-glacial climate see-saw model.

Richard N. Holdaway

Status: open (until 18 Feb 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2021-154', Matt McGlone, 09 Jan 2022 reply

Richard N. Holdaway

Richard N. Holdaway

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Short summary
I assembled radiocarbon age series for extinct New Zealand moa with known habitat requirements for a wider study. The sequence in the north-western South Island revealed a return to glacial climate during the time of the Northern Hemisphere Younger Dryas cold period, and not the Antarctic Cold Reversal as predicted. Ages on moa fossils provide detailed on site records of vegetation. The moa-defined cold period corresponded exactly to the Younger Dryas as recorded in the GISP2 Greenland ice core.