Research Articles

Interhemispheric Correlation of Late Pleistocene Glacial Events

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Science  15 Sep 1995:
Vol. 269, Issue 5230, pp. 1541-1549
DOI: 10.1126/science.269.5230.1541

Abstract

A radiocarbon chronology shows that piedmont glacier lobes in the Chilean Andes achieved maxima during the last glaciation at 13,900 to 14,890, 21,000, 23,060, 26,940, 29,600, and ≥33,500 carbon-14 years before present (14C yr B.P.) in a cold and wet Subantarctic Parkland environment. The last glaciation ended with massive collapse of ice lobes close to 14,00014C yr B.P., accompanied by an influx of North Patagonian Rain Forest species. In the Southern Alps of New Zealand, additional glacial maxima are registered at 17,72014C yr B.P., and at the beginning of the Younger Dryas at 11,050 14C yr B. P. These glacial maxima in mid-latitude mountains rimming the South Pacific were coeval with ice-rafting pulses in the North Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, the last termination began suddenly and simultaneously in both polar hemispheres before the resumption of the modern mode of deep-water production in the Nordic Seas. Such interhemispheric coupling implies a global atmospheric signal rather than regional climatic changes caused by North Atlantic thermohaline switches or Laurentide ice surges.