Sea surface temperature variability of the Peru-Chile Current during the previous ten interglacials
Abstract:There are several interglacial periods during the Quaternary that were characterized by climates warmer than present and higher sea level and thus may serve as analogues for future global warming scenarios. These include Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 5e, 9c and 11c. Little is known about past sea surface temperatures (SST) during these warm intervals in the Southern Hemisphere, particularly along the Peru-Chile Current (PCC) which plays a critical role in the Southern Hemisphere surface circulation as it connects the low and high latitudes by transporting sub-polar water masses and thus, a high-latitude climate signal towards the tropics. Here, we present new high-resolution alkenone-derived SST records from marine sediment cores located beneath the PCC.
Core GeoB15016 was recovered from off northern Chile (27.5°S; 71.1°W) with the seafloor drill rig MARUM-MeBo. We analyzed the ca. 60 meters composite depth complemented by gravity core GeoB3375-1 (27.5°S; 71.3°W) for the upper part to generate a continuous record that extends back to 970 ka BP. Our record is the first continuous SST reconstruction from the Chilean margin extending back to MIS 25. SST varies between ~8°C and ~20°C over the past ~970 ka. Glacial-interglacial SST amplitudes are in the order of 6°C (see Groeneveld’s et al. contribution for Mg/Ca-derived Glacial SST estimations). During MIS 5e, 7e, 9c and 11c, the record reaches SST maxima which are ca. 3ºC warmer than present annual mean SST in the area. Our results suggest a substantial warming of the PCC over past interglacials that may reflect reduced advection of subantarctic surface water from the south and/or enhanced tropical influence from the north.