Evidence for a steeper Eemian than Holocene sea surface temperature gradient between Arctic and sub-Arctic regions

Bauch, Henning A., Erlenkeuser, Helmut, Fahl, Kirsten, Spielhagen, Robert F., Weinelt, Mara S., Andruleit, Harald and Henrich, Rüdiger (1999) Evidence for a steeper Eemian than Holocene sea surface temperature gradient between Arctic and sub-Arctic regions Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 145 (1-3). pp. 95-117. DOI 10.1016/S0031-0182(98)00104-7.

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Sediment proxy data from the Norwegian, Greenland, and Iceland seas (Nordic seas) are presented to evaluate surface water temperature (SST) differences between Holocene and Eemian times and to deduce from these data the particular mode of surface water circulation. Records from planktic foraminiferal assemblages, CaCO3 content, oxygen isotopes of foraminifera, and iceberg-rafted debris form the main basis of interpretation. All results indicate for the Eemian comparatively cooler northern Nordic seas than for the Holocene due to a reduction in the northwardly flow of Atlantic surface water towards Fram Strait and the Arctic Ocean. Therefore, the cold polar water flow from the Arctic Ocean was less influencial in the southwestern Nordic seas during this time. As can be further deduced from the Eemian data, slightly higher Eemian SSTs are interpreted for the western Iceland Sea compared to the Norwegian Sea (ca. south of 70°N). This Eemian situation is in contrast to the Holocene when the main mass of warmest Atlantic surface water flows along the Norwegian continental margin northwards and into the Arctic Ocean. Thus, a moderate northwardly decrease in SST is observed in the eastern Nordic seas for this time, causing a meridional transfer in ocean heat. Due to this distribution in SSTs the Holocene is dominated by a meridional circulation pattern. The interpretation of the Eemian data imply a dominantly zonal surface water circulation with a steep meridional gradient in SSTs.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Eemian; Holocene; Climate; Foraminifera; Sea surface temperature; Surface water circulation; Nordic seas; Arctic Ocean
Research affiliation: AWI
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/S0031-0182(98)00104-7
ISSN: 0031-0182
Projects: SFB313, QUEEN
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2015 10:38
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2017 13:34
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/27891

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