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Millennial-scale trends in west Pacific warm pool hydrology since the Last Glacial Maximum

Partin, Judson W. and Cobb, Kim M. and Adkins, Jess F. and Clark, Brian and Fernandez, Diego P. (2007) Millennial-scale trends in west Pacific warm pool hydrology since the Last Glacial Maximum. Nature, 449 (7161). pp. 452-455. ISSN 0028-0836.

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Models and palaeoclimate data suggest that the tropical Pacific climate system plays a key part in the mechanisms underlying orbital-scale and abrupt climate change. Atmospheric convection over the western tropical Pacific is a major source of heat and moisture to extratropical regions, and may therefore influence the global climate response to a variety of forcing factors. The response of tropical Pacific convection to changes in global climate boundary conditions, abrupt climate changes and radiative forcing remains uncertain, however. Here we present three absolutely dated oxygen isotope records from stalagmites in northern Borneo that reflect changes in west Pacific warm pool hydrology over the past 27,000 years. Our results suggest that convection over the western tropical Pacific weakened 18,000–20,000 years ago, as tropical Pacific and Antarctic temperatures began to rise during the early stages of deglaciation. Convective activity, as inferred from oxygen isotopes, reached a minimum during Heinrich event 1 (ref. 10), when the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation was weak, pointing to feedbacks between the strength of the overturning circulation and tropical Pacific hydrology. There is no evidence of the Younger Dryas event in the stalagmite records, however, suggesting that different mechanisms operated during these two abrupt deglacial climate events. During the Holocene epoch, convective activity appears to track changes in spring and autumn insolation, highlighting the sensitivity of tropical Pacific convection to external radiative forcing. Together, these findings demonstrate that the tropical Pacific hydrological cycle is sensitive to high-latitude climate processes in both hemispheres, as well as to external radiative forcing, and that it may have a central role in abrupt climate change events.

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Adkins, Jess F.0000-0002-3174-5190
Additional Information:© 2007 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 22 February 2007; Accepted 8 August 2007. We thank J. Malang, J. Gau and S. Clark of Gunung Mulu National Park and J. Baei Hassan of Logan Bunut National Park for field assistance. J. Despain, G. Prest, S. Fryer, J. Mosenfelder and B. Hacker provided field assistance during the 2003 field trip. A. A. Tuen (UNIMAS) greatly facilitated our 2006 fieldwork in Sarawak. We also thank D. Lund for assistance in U–Th dating, and J. Lynch-Stieglitz and M. Schmidt for providing comments on early versions of the manuscript. The research was funded by NSF-ESH and by a Comer Abrupt Climate Change Fellowship.
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Comer Abrupt Climate Change FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7161
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120828-100112890
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:33601
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:28 Aug 2012 18:15
Last Modified:24 Feb 2020 10:30

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