Imprints of AMOC Perturbation in the Intermediate water of Equatorial Atlantic during the Last Interglacial Improved

Monday, 15 December 2014
Syee Weldeab, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States
Understanding of the last interglacial (LIG) is critical for the assessment of long-term impact of global warming on the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and climate. Relative to the Millennium, air temperature over Greenland and eustatic sea-level during the LIG was higher by 8±4˚C and 4–8 m, with a considerable oscillation in the rate of meltwater input (NEEM Community rembers, Nature, v.493, p.489; Kopp et al., Nature, v. 462, p. 863) . The impact of millennial-scale LIG meltwater input on the AMOC and global climate is, however, less understood. Here we present a highly resolved, benthic foraminiferal multi-proxy record from the eastern equatorial Atlantic. The record shows that the LIG was punctuated by at least two episodes of reduced AMOC whose impact on the global climate varied considerably. While the event between 126,000 and 123,800 years ago lacks imprints on available global climate records, the AMOC perturbation between 129,000 and 128,000 years ago provides a causative link to a rapid increase of atmospheric CO2, peak air warming over Antarctica, and a slow down of the rate of global monsoon intensification. We suggest that the rate of meltwater input into the North Atlantic and the size of remanent Greenland ice sheet was critical in determining the degree of AMOC reduction and its effect on the interhemispheric climate.