Relative Timing of Deglacial Climate Events in Antarctica and Greenland

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Science  13 Sep 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5588, pp. 1862-1864
DOI: 10.1126/science.1074257

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The last deglaciation was marked by large, hemispheric, millennial-scale climate variations: the Bølling-Allerød and Younger Dryas periods in the north, and the Antarctic Cold Reversal in the south. A chronology from the high-accumulation Law Dome East Antarctic ice core constrains the relative timing of these two events and provides strong evidence that the cooling at the start of the Antarctic Cold Reversal did not follow the abrupt warming during the northern Bølling transition around 14,500 years ago. This result suggests that southern changes are not a direct response to abrupt changes in North Atlantic thermohaline circulation, as is assumed in the conventional picture of a hemispheric temperature seesaw.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Present address: CNRS/Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Laboratoire de Cosmochimie et Géochimie, 4 place Jussieu tour 14, 3ème ètage, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: tas.van.ommen{at}

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