skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: The spatial extent and dynamics of the Antarctic Cold Reversal

Abstract

Antarctic ice cores show that a millennial-scale cooling event, the Antarctic Cold Reversal (14,700 to 13,000 years ago), interrupted the last deglaciation1,2,3. The Antarctic Cold Reversal coincides with the Bølling–Allerød warm stage in the North Atlantic, providing an example of the inter-hemispheric coupling of abrupt climate change generally referred to as the bipolar seesaw4,5,6,7,8,9. However, the ocean–atmosphere dynamics governing this coupling are debated10,11,12,13,14,15. Here we examine the extent and expression of the Antarctic Cold Reversal in the Southern Hemisphere using a synthesis of 84 palaeoclimate records. We find that the cooling is strongest in the South Atlantic and all regions south of 40° S. At the same time, the terrestrial tropics and subtropics show abrupt hydrologic variations that are significantly correlated with North Atlantic climate changes. Our transient global climate model simulations indicate that the observed extent of Antarctic Cold Reversal cooling can be explained by enhanced northward ocean heat transport from the South to North Atlantic10, amplified by the expansion and thickening of sea ice in the Southern Ocean. The hydrologic variations at lower latitudes result from an opposing enhancement of southward heat transport in the atmosphere mediated by the Hadley circulation. Our findings reconcile previous arguments about themore » relative dominance of ocean5,10,11 and atmospheric14,15 heat transports in inter-hemispheric coupling, demonstrating that the spatial pattern of past millennial-scale climate change reflects the superposition of both.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1565458
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Nature Geoscience
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1752-0894
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Geology

Citation Formats

Pedro, Joel B., Bostock, Helen C., Bitz, Cecilia M., He, Feng, Vandergoes, Marcus J., Steig, Eric J., Chase, Brian M., Krause, Claire E., Rasmussen, Sune O., Markle, Bradley R., and Cortese, Giuseppe. The spatial extent and dynamics of the Antarctic Cold Reversal. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1038/ngeo2580.
Pedro, Joel B., Bostock, Helen C., Bitz, Cecilia M., He, Feng, Vandergoes, Marcus J., Steig, Eric J., Chase, Brian M., Krause, Claire E., Rasmussen, Sune O., Markle, Bradley R., & Cortese, Giuseppe. The spatial extent and dynamics of the Antarctic Cold Reversal. United States. doi:10.1038/ngeo2580.
Pedro, Joel B., Bostock, Helen C., Bitz, Cecilia M., He, Feng, Vandergoes, Marcus J., Steig, Eric J., Chase, Brian M., Krause, Claire E., Rasmussen, Sune O., Markle, Bradley R., and Cortese, Giuseppe. Mon . "The spatial extent and dynamics of the Antarctic Cold Reversal". United States. doi:10.1038/ngeo2580.
@article{osti_1565458,
title = {The spatial extent and dynamics of the Antarctic Cold Reversal},
author = {Pedro, Joel B. and Bostock, Helen C. and Bitz, Cecilia M. and He, Feng and Vandergoes, Marcus J. and Steig, Eric J. and Chase, Brian M. and Krause, Claire E. and Rasmussen, Sune O. and Markle, Bradley R. and Cortese, Giuseppe},
abstractNote = {Antarctic ice cores show that a millennial-scale cooling event, the Antarctic Cold Reversal (14,700 to 13,000 years ago), interrupted the last deglaciation1,2,3. The Antarctic Cold Reversal coincides with the Bølling–Allerød warm stage in the North Atlantic, providing an example of the inter-hemispheric coupling of abrupt climate change generally referred to as the bipolar seesaw4,5,6,7,8,9. However, the ocean–atmosphere dynamics governing this coupling are debated10,11,12,13,14,15. Here we examine the extent and expression of the Antarctic Cold Reversal in the Southern Hemisphere using a synthesis of 84 palaeoclimate records. We find that the cooling is strongest in the South Atlantic and all regions south of 40° S. At the same time, the terrestrial tropics and subtropics show abrupt hydrologic variations that are significantly correlated with North Atlantic climate changes. Our transient global climate model simulations indicate that the observed extent of Antarctic Cold Reversal cooling can be explained by enhanced northward ocean heat transport from the South to North Atlantic10, amplified by the expansion and thickening of sea ice in the Southern Ocean. The hydrologic variations at lower latitudes result from an opposing enhancement of southward heat transport in the atmosphere mediated by the Hadley circulation. Our findings reconcile previous arguments about the relative dominance of ocean5,10,11 and atmospheric14,15 heat transports in inter-hemispheric coupling, demonstrating that the spatial pattern of past millennial-scale climate change reflects the superposition of both.},
doi = {10.1038/ngeo2580},
journal = {Nature Geoscience},
issn = {1752-0894},
number = 1,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {11}
}

Works referenced in this record:

Northern Hemisphere forcing of Southern Hemisphere climate during the last deglaciation
journal, February 2013

  • He, Feng; Shakun, Jeremy D.; Clark, Peter U.
  • Nature, Vol. 494, Issue 7435
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature11822

Greenland temperature response to climate forcing during the last deglaciation
journal, September 2014


The role of seasonality in abrupt climate change
journal, May 2005


Simulated Tropical Response to a Substantial Weakening of the Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation
journal, June 2005

  • Zhang, Rong; Delworth, Thomas L.
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 18, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1175/JCLI3460.1

Land–Ocean Asymmetry of Tropical Precipitation Changes in the Mid-Holocene
journal, August 2010


Antarctic contribution to meltwater pulse 1A from reduced Southern Ocean overturning
journal, September 2014

  • Golledge, N. R.; Menviel, L.; Carter, L.
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 5, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6107

North Atlantic Deep Water cools the southern hemisphere
journal, August 1992


Interhemispheric Atlantic seesaw response during the last deglaciation
journal, February 2009

  • Barker, Stephen; Diz, Paula; Vautravers, Maryline J.
  • Nature, Vol. 457, Issue 7233
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature07770

Influence of high latitude ice cover on the marine Intertropical Convergence Zone
journal, July 2005


A minimum thermodynamic model for the bipolar seesaw: THERMAL BIPOLAR SEESAW
journal, November 2003

  • Stocker, Thomas F.; Johnsen, Sigfùs J.
  • Paleoceanography, Vol. 18, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1029/2003PA000920

North Atlantic forcing of millennial-scale Indo-Australian monsoon dynamics during the Last Glacial period
journal, July 2013


Renewed glacial activity during the Antarctic cold reversal and persistence of cold conditions until 11.5 ka in southwestern Patagonia
journal, April 2009

  • Moreno, P. I.; Kaplan, M. R.; François, J. P.
  • Geology, Vol. 37, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1130/G25399A.1

A community-based geological reconstruction of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum
journal, September 2014


Does the bipolar seesaw extend to the terrestrial southern mid-latitudes?
journal, March 2012


Timing of the Antarctic cold reversal and the atmospheric CO 2 increase with respect to the Younger Dryas Event
journal, November 1997

  • Blunier, T.; Schwander, J.; Stauffer, B.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 24, Issue 21
  • DOI: 10.1029/97GL02658

Modulation of the bipolar seesaw in the Southeast Pacific during Termination 1
journal, July 2007

  • Lamy, Frank; Kaiser, Jérôme; Arz, Helge W.
  • Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 259, Issue 3-4
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2007.04.040

Forcing of wet phases in southeast Africa over the past 17,000 years
journal, December 2011

  • Schefuß, Enno; Kuhlmann, Holger; Mollenhauer, Gesine
  • Nature, Vol. 480, Issue 7378
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature10685

Coherent changes of southeastern equatorial and northern African rainfall during the last deglaciation
journal, December 2014

  • Otto-Bliesner, Bette L.; Russell, James M.; Clark, Peter U.
  • Science, Vol. 346, Issue 6214
  • DOI: 10.1126/science.1259531

Glacier advance in southern middle-latitudes during the Antarctic Cold Reversal
journal, September 2010

  • Putnam, Aaron E.; Denton, George H.; Schaefer, Joerg M.
  • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 3, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo962

Cooling and changing seasonality in the Southern Alps, New Zealand during the Antarctic Cold Reversal
journal, March 2008


Transient Simulation of Last Deglaciation with a New Mechanism for Bolling-Allerod Warming
journal, July 2009


More accurate, calibrated bootstrap confidence intervals for estimating the correlation between two time series
journal, February 2014


The last deglaciation: timing the bipolar seesaw
journal, January 2011

  • Pedro, J. B.; van Ommen, T. D.; Rasmussen, S. O.
  • Climate of the Past, Vol. 7, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.5194/cp-7-671-2011

Antarctic deglacial pattern in a 30 kyr record of sea surface temperature offshore South Australia: DEGLACIAL SSTS OFFSHORE SOUTH AUSTRALIA
journal, July 2007

  • Calvo, Eva; Pelejero, Carles; De Deckker, Patrick
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 34, Issue 13
  • DOI: 10.1029/2007GL029937

Abrupt climate change: An alternative view
journal, March 2006


North Atlantic forcing of Amazonian precipitation during the last ice age
journal, September 2012

  • Mosblech, Nicole A. S.; Bush, Mark B.; Gosling, William D.
  • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 5, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1588

Collapse and rapid resumption of Atlantic meridional circulation linked to deglacial climate changes
journal, April 2004

  • McManus, J. F.; Francois, R.; Gherardi, J. -M.
  • Nature, Vol. 428, Issue 6985
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature02494