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Title: Precession modulation of the South Pacific westerly wind belt over the past million years

Abstract

The southern westerly wind belt (SWW) interacts with the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and strongly impacts the Southern Ocean carbon budget, and Antarctic ice-sheet dynamics across glacial–interglacial cycles. We investigated precipitation-driven sediment input changes to the Southeast Pacific off the southern margin of the Atacama Desert over the past one million years, revealing strong precession (19/23-ka) cycles. Our simulations with 2 ocean–atmosphere general circulation models suggest that observed cyclic rainfall changes are linked to meridional shifts in water vapor transport from the tropical Pacific toward the southern Atacama Desert. These changes reflect a precessional modulation of the split in the austral winter South Pacific jet stream. For precession maxima, we infer significantly enhanced rainfall in the southern Atacama Desert due to a stronger South Pacific split jet with enhanced subtropical/subpolar jets, and a weaker midlatitude jet. Conversely, we derive dry conditions in northern Chile related to reduced subtropical/subpolar jets and an enhanced midlatitude jet for precession minima. The presence of precessional cycles in the Pacific SWW, and lack thereof in other basins, indicate that orbital-scale changes of the SWW were not zonally homogeneous across the Southern Hemisphere, in contrast to the hemispherewide shifts of the SWW suggested for glacial terminations. Finally,more » the strengthening of the jet is unique to the South Pacific realm and might have affected winter-controlled changes in the mixed layer depth, the formation of intermediate water, and the buildup of sea-ice around Antarctica, with implications for the global overturning circulation and the oceanic storage of atmospheric CO 2.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [1]; ORCiD logo [4];  [5];  [6]; ORCiD logo [7]; ORCiD logo [1];  [8]
  1. Alfred-Wegener-Inst. Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven (Germany)
  2. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. Alfred-Wegener-Inst. Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven (Germany); Univ. of Bremen (Germany)
  4. Leibniz Inst. for Baltic Sea Research, Rostock-Warnemunde (Germany)
  5. Utrecht Univ. (The Netherlands)
  6. Univ. of Bremen (Germany)
  7. Pontifical Catholic Univ. of Chile, Santiago (Chile)
  8. Utrecht Univ., Texel (The Netherlands); Vrije Univ., Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1591825
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; 1537496
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 116; Journal Issue: 47; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; orbital cycles; southern westerly wind belt; quaternary; paleoclimate

Citation Formats

Lamy, Frank, Chiang, John C. H., Martínez-Méndez, Gema, Thierens, Mieke, Arz, Helge W., Bosmans, Joyce, Hebbeln, Dierk, Lambert, Fabrice, Lembke-Jene, Lester, and Stuut, Jan-Berend. Precession modulation of the South Pacific westerly wind belt over the past million years. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1073/pnas.1905847116.
Lamy, Frank, Chiang, John C. H., Martínez-Méndez, Gema, Thierens, Mieke, Arz, Helge W., Bosmans, Joyce, Hebbeln, Dierk, Lambert, Fabrice, Lembke-Jene, Lester, & Stuut, Jan-Berend. Precession modulation of the South Pacific westerly wind belt over the past million years. United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1905847116.
Lamy, Frank, Chiang, John C. H., Martínez-Méndez, Gema, Thierens, Mieke, Arz, Helge W., Bosmans, Joyce, Hebbeln, Dierk, Lambert, Fabrice, Lembke-Jene, Lester, and Stuut, Jan-Berend. Mon . "Precession modulation of the South Pacific westerly wind belt over the past million years". United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1905847116.
@article{osti_1591825,
title = {Precession modulation of the South Pacific westerly wind belt over the past million years},
author = {Lamy, Frank and Chiang, John C. H. and Martínez-Méndez, Gema and Thierens, Mieke and Arz, Helge W. and Bosmans, Joyce and Hebbeln, Dierk and Lambert, Fabrice and Lembke-Jene, Lester and Stuut, Jan-Berend},
abstractNote = {The southern westerly wind belt (SWW) interacts with the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and strongly impacts the Southern Ocean carbon budget, and Antarctic ice-sheet dynamics across glacial–interglacial cycles. We investigated precipitation-driven sediment input changes to the Southeast Pacific off the southern margin of the Atacama Desert over the past one million years, revealing strong precession (19/23-ka) cycles. Our simulations with 2 ocean–atmosphere general circulation models suggest that observed cyclic rainfall changes are linked to meridional shifts in water vapor transport from the tropical Pacific toward the southern Atacama Desert. These changes reflect a precessional modulation of the split in the austral winter South Pacific jet stream. For precession maxima, we infer significantly enhanced rainfall in the southern Atacama Desert due to a stronger South Pacific split jet with enhanced subtropical/subpolar jets, and a weaker midlatitude jet. Conversely, we derive dry conditions in northern Chile related to reduced subtropical/subpolar jets and an enhanced midlatitude jet for precession minima. The presence of precessional cycles in the Pacific SWW, and lack thereof in other basins, indicate that orbital-scale changes of the SWW were not zonally homogeneous across the Southern Hemisphere, in contrast to the hemispherewide shifts of the SWW suggested for glacial terminations. Finally, the strengthening of the jet is unique to the South Pacific realm and might have affected winter-controlled changes in the mixed layer depth, the formation of intermediate water, and the buildup of sea-ice around Antarctica, with implications for the global overturning circulation and the oceanic storage of atmospheric CO2.},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1905847116},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = 47,
volume = 116,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {11}
}

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