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Sea-surface temperature records of Termination 1 in the Gulf of California: Challenges for seasonal and interannual analogues of tropical Pacific climate change

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Erin McClymont, Dr Helen Talbot


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Centennial-scale records of sea-surface temperature and opal composition spanning the Last Glacial Maximum and Termination 1 (circa 25-6 ka) are presented here from Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California. Through the application of two organic geochemistry proxies, the U-37(K') index and the TEX86H index, we present evidence for rapid, stepped changes in temperatures during deglaciation. These occur in both temperature proxies at 13 ka (similar to 3 degrees C increase in 270 years), 10.0 ka (similar to 2 degrees C decrease over similar to 250 years) and at 8.2 ka (3 degrees C increase in <200 years). An additional rapid warming step is also observed in TEX86H at 11.5 ka. In comparing the two temperature proxies and opal content, we consider the potential for upwelling intensity to be recorded and link this millennial-scale variability to shifting Intertropical Convergence Zone position and variations in the strength of the Subtropical High. The onset of the deglacial warming from 17 to 18 ka is comparable to a "southern hemisphere" signal, although the opal record mimics the ice-rafting events of the north Atlantic (Heinrich events). Neither the modern seasonal cycle nor El Nino/Southern Oscillation patterns provide valid analogues for the trends we observe in comparison with other regional records. Fully coupled climate model simulations confirm this result, and in combination we question whether the seasonal or interannual climate variations of the modern climate are valid analogues for the glacial and deglacial tropical Pacific.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McClymont EL, Ganeshram RS, Pichevin LE, Talbot HM, van Dongen BE, Thunell RC, Haywood AM, Singarayer JS, Valdes PJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Paleoceanography

Year: 2012

Volume: 27

Issue: 2

Pages: PA2202

Print publication date: 01/04/2012

ISSN (print): 0883-8305

ISSN (electronic): 1944-9186

Publisher: American Geophysical Union


DOI: 10.1029/2011PA002226


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Funder referenceFunder name
Leverhulme Trust
Royal Society
Scottish Alliance for GeoSciences (SAGES)
NE/E00119X/1Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)