Report

800,000 Years of Abrupt Climate Variability

Science  21 Oct 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6054, pp. 347-351
DOI: 10.1126/science.1203580

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Abstract

We constructed an 800,000-year synthetic record of Greenland climate variability based on the thermal bipolar seesaw model. Our Greenland analog reproduces much of the variability seen in the Greenland ice cores over the past 100,000 years. The synthetic record shows strong similarity with the absolutely dated speleothem record from China, allowing us to place ice core records within an absolute timeframe for the past 400,000 years. Hence, it provides both a stratigraphic reference and a conceptual basis for assessing the long-term evolution of millennial-scale variability and its potential role in climate change at longer time scales. Indeed, we provide evidence for a ubiquitous association between bipolar seesaw oscillations and glacial terminations throughout the Middle to Late Pleistocene.

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