800,000 Years of abrupt climate variability

Stephen Barker, Gregor Knorr, R. Lawrence Edwards, Frédéric Parrenin, Aaron E. Putnam, Luke C. Skinner, Eric Wolff, Martin Ziegler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

292 Scopus citations


We constructed an 800,000-year synthetic record of Greenland climate variability based on the thermal bipolar seesaw model. Our Greenland analog reproduces much of the variability seen in the Greenland ice cores over the past 100,000 years. The synthetic record shows strong similarity with the absolutely dated speleothem record from China, allowing us to place ice core records within an absolute timeframe for the past 400,000 years. Hence, it provides both a stratigraphic reference and a conceptual basis for assessing the long-term evolution of millennial-scale variability and its potential role in climate change at longer time scales. Indeed, we provide evidence for a ubiquitous association between bipolar seesaw oscillations and glacial terminations throughout the Middle to Late Pleistocene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-351
Number of pages5
Issue number6054
StatePublished - Oct 21 2011


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