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Synchronous volcanic eruptions and abrupt climate change ∼17.7 ka plausibly linked by stratospheric ozone depletion

McConnell, Joseph R. and Adkins, Jess F. and Paris, Guillaume (2017) Synchronous volcanic eruptions and abrupt climate change ∼17.7 ka plausibly linked by stratospheric ozone depletion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114 (38). pp. 10035-10040. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC5617275.

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Glacial-state greenhouse gas concentrations and Southern Hemisphere climate conditions persisted until ∼17.7 ka, when a nearly synchronous acceleration in deglaciation was recorded in paleoclimate proxies in large parts of the Southern Hemisphere, with many changes ascribed to a sudden poleward shift in the Southern Hemisphere westerlies and subsequent climate impacts. We used high-resolution chemical measurements in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide, Byrd, and other ice cores to document a unique, ∼192-y series of halogen-rich volcanic eruptions exactly at the start of accelerated deglaciation, with tephra identifying the nearby Mount Takahe volcano as the source. Extensive fallout from these massive eruptions has been found >2,800 km from Mount Takahe. Sulfur isotope anomalies and marked decreases in ice core bromine consistent with increased surface UV radiation indicate that the eruptions led to stratospheric ozone depletion. Rather than a highly improbable coincidence, circulation and climate changes extending from the Antarctic Peninsula to the subtropics—similar to those associated with modern stratospheric ozone depletion over Antarctica—plausibly link the Mount Takahe eruptions to the onset of accelerated Southern Hemisphere deglaciation ∼17.7 ka.

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URLURL TypeDescription Information CentralArticle
Adkins, Jess F.0000-0002-3174-5190
Paris, Guillaume0000-0001-8368-1224
Additional Information:© 2017 the Author(s). Published by PNAS. This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND). Edited by Wallace S. Broecker, Columbia University, Palisades, NY, and approved August 7, 2017 (received for review April 5, 2017). Published ahead of print September 5, 2017. We acknowledge R. von Glasow for help with snowpack model simulations, and J. Stutz and R. Kreidberg for helpful discussions. The US National Science Foundation supported this work [Grants 0538427, 0839093, and 1142166 (to J.R.M.); 1043518 (to E.J.B.); 0538657 and 1043421 (to J.P. Severinghaus); 0538553 and 0839066 (to J.C.-D.); and 0944348, 0944191, 0440817, 0440819, and 0230396 (to K.C.T.)]. We thank the WAIS Divide Science Coordination Office and other support organizations. P.K. and G.K. were funded by Polar Regions and Coasts in a Changing Earth System-II, with additional support from the Helmholtz Climate Initiative. Author contributions: J.R.M. designed research; J.R.M., A.B., N.W.D., P.K., J.L.T., M.M.A., N.J.C., O.J.M., M.S., J.F.A., D.B., J.F.B., E.J.B., J.C.-D., T.J.F., G.K., M.M.G., N.I., K.C.M., R.M., G.P., R.H.R., E.S.S., J.P. Severinghaus, J.P. Steffensen, K.C.T., and G.W. performed research; J.R.M. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; J.R.M., A.B., N.W.D., P.K., J.L.T., M.S., E.J.B., C.B., J.C.-D., G.K., H.-F.G., N.I., K.C.M., and G.W. analyzed data; and J.R.M., A.B., N.W.D., P.K., J.L.T., E.J.B., C.B., H.-F.G., and G.W. wrote the paper. The authors declare no conflict of interest. This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. Data deposition: The data reported in this work have been deposited with the U.S. Antarctic Program Data Center, This article contains supporting information online at
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Polar Regions and Coasts in a Changing Earth System-IIUNSPECIFIED
Helmholtz Climate InitiativeUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:climate; deglaciation; volcanism; ozone; aerosol
Issue or Number:38
PubMed Central ID:PMC5617275
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170911-100036004
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Joseph R. McConnell, Andrea Burke, Nelia W. Dunbar, Peter Köhler, Jennie L. Thomas, Monica M. Arienzo, Nathan J. Chellman, Olivia J. Maselli, Michael Sigl, Jess F. Adkins, Daniel Baggenstos, John F. Burkhart, Edward J. Brook, Christo Buizert, Jihong Cole-Dai, T. J. Fudge, Gregor Knorr, Hans-F. Graf, Mackenzie M. Grieman, Nels Iverson, Kenneth C. McGwire, Robert Mulvaney, Guillaume Paris, Rachael H. Rhodes, Eric S. Saltzman, Jeffrey P. Severinghaus, Jørgen Peder Steffensen, Kendrick C. Taylor, and Gisela Winckler Synchronous volcanic eruptions and abrupt climate change ∼17.7 ka plausibly linked by stratospheric ozone depletion PNAS 2017 114 (38) 10035-10040; published ahead of print September 5, 2017, doi:10.1073/pnas.1705595114
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81286
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 Sep 2017 17:56
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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