Interglacial instability of North Atlantic Deep Water ventilation

Eirik Vinje Galaasen*, Ulysses S. Ninnemann, Augustin Kessler, Nil Irvalı, Yair Rosenthal, Jerry Tjiputra, Nathaëlle Bouttes, Didier M. Roche, Helga F. Kleiven, David A. Hodell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Disrupting North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) ventilation is a key concern in climate projections. We use (sub)centennially resolved bottom water d13C records that span the interglacials of the last 0.5 million years to assess the frequency of and the climatic backgrounds capable of triggering large NADW reductions. Episodes of reduced NADW in the deep Atlantic, similar in magnitude to glacial events, have been relatively common and occasionally long-lasting features of interglacials. NADW reductions were triggered across the range of recent interglacial climate backgrounds, which demonstrates that catastrophic freshwater outburst floods were not a prerequisite for large perturbations. Our results argue that large NADW disruptions are more easily achieved than previously appreciated and that they occurred in past climate conditions similar to those we may soon face.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1485-1489
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume367
Issue number6485
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2020

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    Galaasen, E. V., Ninnemann, U. S., Kessler, A., Irvalı, N., Rosenthal, Y., Tjiputra, J., ... Hodell, D. A. (2020). Interglacial instability of North Atlantic Deep Water ventilation. Science, 367(6485), 1485-1489. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aay6381