Coherent High- and Low-Latitude Climate Variability During the Holocene Warm Period

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Science  23 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5474, pp. 2198-2202
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5474.2198

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A faunal record of sea-surface temperature (SST) variations off West Africa documents a series of abrupt, millennial-scale cooling events, which punctuated the Holocene warm period. These events evidently resulted from increased southward advection of cooler temperate or subpolar waters to this subtropical location or from enhanced regional upwelling. The most recent of these events was the Little Ice Age, which occurred between 1300 to 1850 A.D., when subtropical SSTs were reduced by 3° to 4°C. These events were synchronous with Holocene changes in subpolar North Atlantic SSTs, documenting a strong, in-phase link between millennial-scale variations in high- and low-latitude climate during the Holocene.

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