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Abrupt Climate Events 500,000 to 340,000 Years Ago: Evidence from Subpolar North Atlantic Sediments

Science  27 Feb 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5355, pp. 1335-1338
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5355.1335

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Abstract

Subpolar North Atlantic proxy records document millennial-scale climate variations 500,000 to 340,000 years ago. The cycles have an approximately constant pacing that is similar to that documented for the last glacial cycle. These findings suggest that such climate variations are inherent to the late Pleistocene, regardless of glacial state. Sea surface temperature during the warm peak of Marine Isotope Stage 11 (MIS 11) varied by 0.5° to 1°C, less than the 4° to 4.5°C estimated during times of ice growth and the 3°C estimated for glacial maxima. Coherent deep ocean circulation changes were associated with glacial oscillations in sea surface temperature.

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