Global compilation of last glacial maximum oxygen isotopic ratios for planktonic and benthic foraminifera

  • Thibaut Caley (Contributor)
  • Didier Roche (Contributor)
  • Claire Waelbroeck (Contributor)
  • Elisabeth Michel (Contributor)



Abstract: We use the fully coupled atmosphere-ocean three-dimensional model of intermediate complexity iLOVECLIM to simulate the climate and oxygen stable isotopic signal during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 21 000 yr). By using a model that is able to explicitly simulate the sensor (d18O), results can be directly compared with data from climatic archives in the different realms.
Our results indicate that iLOVECLIM reproduces well the main feature of the LGM climate in the atmospheric and oceanic components. The annual mean d18O in precipitation shows more depleted values in the northern and southern high latitudes during the LGM. The model reproduces very well the spatial gradient observed in ice core records over the Greenland ice-sheet. We observe a general pattern toward more enriched values for continental calcite d18O in the model at the LGM, in agreement with speleothem data. This can be explained by both a general atmospheric cooling in the tropical and subtropical regions and a reduction in precipitation as confirmed by reconstruction derived from pollens and plant macrofossils.
Data-model comparison for sea surface temperature indicates that iLOVECLIM is capable to satisfyingly simulate the change in oceanic surface conditions between the LGM and present. Our data-model comparison for calcite d18O allows investigating the large discrepancies with respect to glacial temperatures recorded by different microfossil proxies in the North Atlantic region. The results argue for a trong mean annual cooling between the LGM and present (>6°C), supporting the foraminifera transfer function reconstruction but in disagreement with alkenones and dinocyst reconstructions. The data-model comparison also reveals that large positive calcite d18O anomaly in the Southern Ocean may be explained by an important cooling, although the driver of this pattern is unclear. We deduce a large positive d18Osw anomaly for the north Indian Ocean that contrasts with a large negative d18Osw anomaly in the China Sea between the LGM and present. This pattern may be linked to changes in the hydrological cycle over these regions.
Our simulation of the deep ocean suggests that changes in d18Osw between the LGM and present are not spatially homogenous. This is supported by reconstructions derived from pore fluids in deep-sea sediments. The model underestimates the deep ocean cooling thus biasing the comparison with benthic calcite d18O data. Nonetheless, our data-model comparison support a heterogeneous cooling of few degrees (2-4°C) in the LGM Ocean.

Category: geoscientificInformation

Source: Supplement to: Caley, Thibaut; Roche, D M; Waelbroeck, Claire; Michel, Elisabeth (2014): Oxygen stable isotopes during the Last Glacial Maximum climate: perspectives from data–model (iLOVECLIM) comparison. Climate of the Past, 10(6), 1939-1955,

Supplemental Information: The supplement contains two excel files in zip-archive with compiled planktic and benthic foraminifera calcite d18O measurements of deep-sea cores for which both Last Glacial Maximum and Late Holocene d18O exist. The data are from various publications as given in the reference-column. Using individual datasets requires the citation of the original paper.

Coverage: Not Available
Date made available10 Nov 2014
PublisherUnknown Publisher

Cite this