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Evidence for a warm Last Glacial Maximum in the Nordic seas or an example of shortcomings in U(K)37' and U(K)37 to estimate low sea surface temperature?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Antoni Rosell-Mele, Pau Comes


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The occurrence of ice-free conditions in the Nordic seas during the Last Glacial Maximum has been demonstrated using microfossil and biomarker approaches. An accurate picture of the prevailing oceanographic conditions may be more difficult to ascertain. Thus, uncertainties for most proxies increase at the cold extreme of temperature calibrations and glacial sediments contain small amounts of microfossils and biomarkers. Here we discuss sea surface temperature estimates derived from alkenone indices for the Last Glacial Maximum in the Nordic seas that provide a surprising scenario, where surface temperatures were warmer than at present. We conclude that the U(K)37' and U(K)37 estimates may not be interpreted in terms of sea surface temperature as several factors may have conspired to bias the molecular signal. However, using an alternative index based on the abundance of the C(37:4) alkenone, we estimate a maximum temperature of 6°C.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rosell-Mele A, Comes P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Paleoceanography

Year: 1999

Volume: 14

Issue: 6

Pages: 770-776

Print publication date: 01/12/1999

ISSN (print): 0883-8305

ISSN (electronic): 1944-9186

Publisher: American Geophysical Union


DOI: 10.1029/1999PA900037


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