Changement climatique - Recherche française (avec laboratoires CNRS) - 2010-2015


Precise interpolar phasing of abrupt climate change during the last ice age

Publication Year


  • Buizert, Christo
  • Adrian, Betty
  • Ahn, Jinho
  • Albert, Mary
  • Alley, Richard B.
  • Baggenstos, Daniel
  • Bauska, Thomas K.
  • Bay, Ryan C.
  • Bencivengo, Brian B.
  • Bentley, Charles R.
  • Brook, Edward J.
  • Chellman, Nathan J.
  • Clow, Gary D.
  • Cole-Dai, Jihong
  • Conway, Howard
  • Cravens, Eric
  • Cuffey, Kurt M.
  • Dunbar, Nelia W.
  • Edwards, Jon S.
  • Fegyveresi, John M.
  • Ferris, Dave G.
  • Fitzpatrick, Joan J.
  • Fudge, T. J.
  • Gibson, Chris J.
  • Gkinis, Vasileios
  • Goetz, Joshua J.
  • Gregory, Stephanie
  • Hargreaves, Geoffrey M.
  • Iverson, Nels
  • Johnson, Jay A.
  • Jones, Tyler R.
  • Kalk, Michael L.
  • Kippenhan, Matthew J.
  • Koffman, Bess G.
  • Kreutz, Karl
  • Kuhl, Tanner W.
  • Lebar, Donald A.
  • Lee, James E.
  • Marcott, Shaun A.
  • Markle, Bradley R.
  • Maselli, Olivia J.
  • McConnell, Joseph R.
  • McGwire, Kenneth C.
  • Mitchell, Logan E.
  • Mortensen, Nicolai B.
  • Neff, Peter D.
  • Nishiizumi, Kunihiko
  • Nunn, Richard M.
  • Orsi, Anais J.
  • Pasteris, Daniel R.
  • Pedro, Joel B.
  • Pettit, Erin C.
  • Price, P. Buford
  • Priscu, John C.
  • Rhodes, Rachael H.
  • Rosen, Julia L.
  • Schauer, Andrew J.
  • Schoenemann, Spruce W.
  • Sendelbach, Paul J.
  • Severinghaus, Jeffrey P.
  • Shturmakov, Alexander J.
  • Sigl, Michael
  • Slawny, Kristina R.
  • Souney, Joseph M.
  • Sowers, Todd A.
  • Spencer, Matthew K.
  • Steig, Eric J.
  • Taylor, Kendrick C.
  • Twickler, Mark S.
  • Vaughn, Bruce H.
  • Voigt, Donald E.
  • Waddington, Edwin D.
  • Welten, Kees C.
  • Wendricks, Anthony W.
  • White, James W. C.
  • Winstrup, Mai
  • Wong, Gifford J.
  • Woodruff, Thomas E.
NATURE Volume: 520 Issue: 7549 Pages: 661-U169 Published: 2015
0028-0836 eISSN: 1476-4687

The last glacial period exhibited abrupt Dansgaard-Oeschger climatic oscillations, evidence of which is preserved in a variety of Northern Hemisphere palaeodimate archives'. Ice cores show that Antarctica cooled during the warm phases of the Greenland Dansgaard-Oeschger cycle and vice versa''', suggesting an interhemispheric redistribution of heat through a mechanism called the bipolar seesaw(4-6). Variations in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) strength are thought to have been important, but much uncertainty remains regarding the dynamics and trigger of these abrupt events'. Key information is contained in the relative phasing of hemispheric climate variations, yet the large, poorly constrained difference between gas age and ice age and the relatively low resolution of methane records from Antarctic ice cores have so far precluded methane-based synchronization at the required sub-centennial precision''''. Here we use a recently drilled high-accumulation Antarctic ice core to show that, on average, abrupt Greenland warming leads the corresponding Antarctic cooling onset by 218 +/- 92 years (2 sigma a) for DansgaardOeschger events, including the Bolling event; Greenland cooling leads the corresponding onset of Antarctic warming by 208 +/- 96 years. Our results demonstrate a north-to-south directionality of the abrupt climatic signal, which is propagated to the Southern Hemisphere high latitudes by oceanic rather than atmospheric processes. The similar interpolar phasing of warming and cooling transitions suggests that the transfer time of the climatic signal is independent of the AMOC background state. Our findings confirm a central role for ocean circulation in the bipolar seesaw and provide clear criteria for assessing hypotheses and model simulations of Dansgaard-Oeschger dynamics.

KeyWord(s) Plus
ESI Discipline(s)
  • Multidisciplinary
Web of Science Category(ies)
  • Multidisciplinary Sciences

[Buizert, Christo; Bauska, Thomas K.; Brook, Edward J.; Edwards, Jon S.; Kalk, Michael L.; Lee, James E.; Marcott, Shaun A.; Mitchell, Logan E.; Rhodes, Rachael H.; Rosen, Julia L.] Oregon State Univ, Coll Earth Ocean & Atmospher Sci, Corvallis, OR 97331 USA; [Adrian, Betty; Bencivengo, Brian B.; Hargreaves, Geoffrey M.; Nunn, Richard M.] US Geol Survey, Natl Ice Core Lab, Denver, CO 80225 USA; [Ahn, Jinho] Seoul Natl Univ, Sch Earth & Environm Sci, Seoul 151742, South Korea; [Albert, Mary; Gregory, Stephanie] Dartmouth Coll, Thayer Sch Engn, Hanover, NH 03755 USA; [Alley, Richard B.; Fegyveresi, John M.; Sowers, Todd A.; Voigt, Donald E.] Penn State Univ, Dept Geosci, University Pk, PA 16802 USA; [Baggenstos, Daniel; Orsi, Anais J.; Severinghaus, Jeffrey P.] Univ Calif San Diego, Scripps Inst Oceanog, La Jolla, CA 92093 USA; [Bay, Ryan C.; Price, P. Buford] Univ Calif Berkeley, Dept Phys, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA; [Bentley, Charles R.; Gibson, Chris J.; Goetz, Joshua J.; Johnson, Jay A.; Kuhl, Tanner W.; Lebar, Donald A.; Mortensen, Nicolai B.; Sendelbach, Paul J.; Shturmakov, Alexander J.; Slawny, Kristina R.; Wendricks, Anthony W.] Univ Wisconsin, Ice Drilling Design & Operat, Madison, WI 53706 USA; [Chellman, Nathan J.; Maselli, Olivia J.; McConnell, Joseph R.; McGwire, Kenneth C.; Pasteris, Daniel R.; Sigl, Michael; Taylor, Kendrick C.] Nevada Syst Higher Educ, Desert Res Inst, Reno, NV 89512 USA; [Clow, Gary D.] US Geol Survey, Boulder, CO 80309 USA; [Cole-Dai, Jihong; Ferris, Dave G.] S Dakota State Univ, Dept Chem & Biochem, Brookings, SD 57007 USA; [Conway, Howard; Fudge, T. J.; Markle, Bradley R.; Schauer, Andrew J.; Schoenemann, Spruce W.; Steig, Eric J.; Waddington, Edwin D.; Winstrup, Mai] Univ Washington, Dept Earth & Space Sci, Seattle, WA 98195 USA; [Cravens, Eric] ADC Management Serv, Lakewood, CO 80226 USA; [Cuffey, Kurt M.] Univ Calif Berkeley, Dept Geog, Berkeley, CA 94709 USA; [Dunbar, Nelia W.; Iverson, Nels] New Mexico Inst Min & Technol, Earth & Environm Sci Dept, Socorro, NM 87801 USA; [Fitzpatrick, Joan J.] US Geol Survey, Denver, CO 80225 USA; [Gkinis, Vasileios; Jones, Tyler R.; Vaughn, Bruce H.; White, James W. C.] Univ Colorado, Inst Arctic & Alpine Res, Boulder, CO 80309 USA; [Gkinis, Vasileios; Pedro, Joel B.; Winstrup, Mai] Univ Copenhagen, Ctr Ice & Climate, DK-2100 Copenhagen O, Denmark; [Kippenhan, Matthew J.] Antarctic Support Contract, Lockheed Martin US Antarctic Program, Centennial, CO 80112 USA; [Koffman, Bess G.] Columbia Univ, Lamont Doherty Earth Observ, Palisades, NY 10964 USA; [Kreutz, Karl] Univ Maine, Climate Change Inst, Orono, ME 04469 USA; [Kreutz, Karl] Univ Maine, Sch Earth & Climate Sci, Orono, ME 04469 USA; [Marcott, Shaun A.] Univ Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 USA; [Neff, Peter D.] Victoria Univ Wellington, Antarctic Res Ctr, Wellington 6012, New Zealand; [Nishiizumi, Kunihiko; Welten, Kees C.] Univ Calif Berkeley, Space Sci Lab, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA; [Orsi, Anais J.] Inst Pierre Simon Laplace, Lab Sci Climat & Environm, F-91191 Gif Sur Yvette, France; [Pedro, Joel B.] Univ Washington, Joint Inst Study Atmosphere & Oceans, Seattle, WA 98195 USA; [Pettit, Erin C.] Univ Alaska Fairbanks, Dept Geosci, Fairbanks, AK 99775 USA; [Priscu, John C.] Montana State Univ, Dept Land Resources & Environm Sci, Bozeman, MT 59717 USA; [Souney, Joseph M.; Twickler, Mark S.] Univ New Hampshire, Inst Study Earth Oceans & Space, Durham, NH 03824 USA; [Spencer, Matthew K.] Lake Super State Univ, Sch Phys Sci, Sault Sainte Marie, MI 49783 USA; [Wong, Gifford J.] Dartmouth Coll, Dept Earth Sci, Hanover, NH 03755 USA; [Woodruff, Thomas E.] Purdue Univ, PRIME Lab, W Lafayette, IN 47907 USA

Reprint Adress

Buizert, C (reprint author), Oregon State Univ, Coll Earth Ocean & Atmospher Sci, Corvallis, OR 97331 USA.

  • Denmark
  • France
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • United States
CNRS - Adress(es)
  • Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL), FR636
  • Laboratoire des sciences du climat et de l'environnement (LSCE), UMR8212
Accession Number
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