Persistent Intermediate Water Warming during Cold Stadials in the SE Nordic Seas during the Last 65 Kyr

Monday, 15 December 2014
Mohamed Ezat1, Tine Lander Rasmussen1 and Jeroen Groeneveld2, (1)University of Tromsø, CAGE -Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate, Tromsø, Norway, (2)MARUM - University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
In the Nordic seas, conversion of inflowing warm Atlantic surface water to deep cold water through convection is closely linked with climate. During the last glacial period climate underwent rapid millennial-scale variability known as Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) events, consisting of warm interstadials and cold stadials. Here we present the first benthic foraminiferal Mg/Ca–d18O record from the Nordic seas in order to reconstruct the ocean circulation on DO timescales. The record confirms that modern-like convection took place in the Nordic seas during interstadials with cold bottom water temperatures (BWT) close to modern temperatures. The results show gradual and pronounced BWT increases by 2–5 °C during stadials indicating a stop or near-stop in convection. The BWT peaks are followed by an abrupt drop in temperature at the onset of interstadials indicating the abrupt start of convection and renewed generation of cold deep water. The rise in BWT during stadials confirms earlier interpretations of subsurface inflow of warm Atlantic water below a halocline reaching >1.2 km water depth. The results suggest that warm Atlantic Water never ceased to flow into the Nordic seas during the glacial period with inflow at the surface during the Holocene and warm interstadials switching to subsurface and intermediate inflow during cold stadials. Our results suggest that it is the vertical shifts in the position of the warm Atlantic Water that cause the abrupt surface warmings.