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Oceanic forcing of the Marine Isotope Stage 11 interglacial

Record type: Article

The interglacial known as Marine Isotope Stage 11 has been proposed to be analogous to the Holocene, owing to similarities in the amplitudes of orbital forcing. It has been difficult to compare the periods, however, because of the long duration of Stage 11 and a lack of detailed knowledge of any extreme climate events that may have occurred. Here we use the distinctive phasing between seasurface temperatures and the oxygen-isotope records of benthic foraminifera in the southeast Atlantic Ocean to stratigraphically align the Holocene interglacial with the first half of the Marine Isotope Stage 11 interglacial optimum. This alignment suggests that the second half of Marine Isotope Stage 11 should not be used as a reference for 'pre-anthropogenic' greenhouse-gas emissions. By compiling benthic carbon-isotope records from sites in the Atlantic Ocean on a single timescale, we also find that meridional overturning circulation strengthened about 415,000 years ago, at a time of high orbital obliquity. We propose that this mechanism transported heat to the high northern latitudes, inhibiting significant ice-sheet build-up and prolonging interglacial conditions. We suggest that this mechanism may have also prolonged other interglacial periods throughout the past 800,000 years.

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Citation

Dickson, Alexander J., Beer, Christopher J., Dempsey, Ciara, Maslin, Mark A., Bendle, James A., McClymont, Erin L. and Pancost, Richard D. (2009) Oceanic forcing of the Marine Isotope Stage 11 interglacial Nature Geoscience, 2, (6), 428- 433. (doi:10.1038/ngeo527).

More information

Published date: 18 May 2009

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 66377
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/66377
ISSN: 1752-0894
PURE UUID: 982cbda8-c68a-425c-b21a-8d7cab299400

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Date deposited: 09 Jun 2009
Last modified: 19 Jul 2017 00:25

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Contributors

Author: Alexander J. Dickson
Author: Christopher J. Beer
Author: Ciara Dempsey
Author: Mark A. Maslin
Author: James A. Bendle
Author: Erin L. McClymont
Author: Richard D. Pancost

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