East central North America climates during marine isotope stages 3-5

Gregory S. Springer, Harold D. Rowe, Ben Hardt, Hai Cheng, R. Lawrence Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Long-term, high-resolution stalagmite carbon and oxygen isotope records from eastern North America (ENA) provide a midlatitude history of relative changes in moisture availability and climate states during the last interglacial and glacial inception (127.7 to 41.6ka before present). The West Virginia carbon record shows low-amplitude variability at orbital time scales, superimposed on a long-term asymmetric pattern similar to global sea level changes. Relative moisture availability peaked at ~114ka, and following a brief dry interval at ~96ka, moisture availability gradually decreased. The almost linear change in moisture availability over ENA may reflect gradual changes in midlatitude zonal circulation as the polar cell and Laurentide Ice Sheet expanded or decreased. In contrast, our oxygen record is precession modulated and in phase with spring insolation, perhaps due to changes in precipitation seasonality. The separate pacings by eccentricity (carbon) and precession (oxygen) expose an underlying complexity that will be a challenge to explain. Key Points A Late Pleistocene climate history is reconstructed for eastern North America Relative moisture abundances correlate with orbital-level sea level changes The last interglacial ended abruptly, but Ice Age climates changed slowly

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3233-3237
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume41
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 16 2014

Keywords

  • climate variability
  • glacial
  • interglacial
  • paleoclimatology

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