Early and middle Holocene in the Aegean Sea: interplay between high and low latitude climate variability

Marino, Gianluca, Rohling, Eelco J., Sangiorgi, Francesca, Hayes, Angela, Casford, James L., Lotter, André F., Kucera, Michal and Brinkhuis, Henk (2009) Early and middle Holocene in the Aegean Sea: interplay between high and low latitude climate variability Quaternary Science Reviews, 28, (27-28), pp. 3246-3262. (doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.08.011).


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Changes in the orbital parameters, solar output, and ocean circulation are widely considered as main drivers of the Holocene climate. Yet, the interaction between these forcings and the role that they play to produce the pattern of changes observed in different domains of the climate system remain debated. Here, we present new early to middle Holocene season-specific sea surface temperature (SST) and d18Oseawater results, based on organic-walled dinoflagellate cyst and planktonic foraminiferal data from two sediment cores located in the central (SL21) and south-eastern (LC21) Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean). Today, this region is affected by high to mid latitude climate in winter and tropical/ subtropical climate in summer. The reconstructed d18Oseawater from LC21 displays a marked (w1.3%) negative shift between 10.7 and 9.7 ka BP, which represents the regional expression of the orbitally driven African monsoon intensification and attendant freshwater flooding into the eastern Mediterra- nean. A virtually contemporaneous shift, of the same sign and magnitude, is apparent in the d18Ospeleothem record from Soreq Cave (Northern Israel), an important part of which may therefore reflect a change in the isotopic composition of the moisture source region (Aegean and Levantine Seas). Our SST reconstructions show that Aegean winter SSTs decreased in concert with intensifications of the Siberian High, as reflected in the GISP2 nss [Kþ] record. Specifically, three distinct sea surface cooling events at 10.5, 9.5–9.03 and 8.8–7.8 ka BP in the central Aegean Sea match increases in GISP2 nss [Kþ]. These events also coincide with dry interludes in Indian monsoon, hinting at large (hemispheric) scale tele- connections during the early Holocene on centennial timescales. A prominent short-lived (w150 years) cooling event in core SL21 – centred on 8.2 ka BP – is coeval to the ‘8.2 ka BP event’ in the Greenland d18Oice, which is commonly linked to a melt-water related perturbation of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and associated ocean heat transport. By deciphering the phasing between a recently published record of reduced overflow from the Nordic Seas into the northern North Atlantic, the Greenland d18Oice ‘8.2 ka BP event’ anomaly, and the short-lived cooling in SL21, we demonstrate severe far-field impacts of this North Atlantic event in the Aegean Sea. The Aegean is isolated from the North Atlantic oceanic circulation, so that signal transmission must have been of an atmospheric nature.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.08.011
ISSNs: 0277-3791 (print)
ePrint ID: 73087
Date :
Date Event
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 20:52
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/73087

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