Onset and termination of Heinrich Stadial 4 and the underlying climate dynamics

Hai Cheng, Yao Xu, Xiyu Dong, Jingyao Zhao, Hanying Li, Jonathan Baker, Ashish Sinha, Christoph Spötl, Haiwei Zhang, Wenjing Du, Baoyun Zong, Xue Jia, Gayatri Kathayat, Dianbing Liu, Yanjun Cai, Xianfeng Wang, Nicolás M. Strikis, Francisco W. Cruz, Augusto S. Auler, Anil K. GuptaRaj Kumar Singh, Sonu Jaglan, Som Dutt, Zhengyu Liu, R. Lawrence Edwards

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17 Scopus citations


Heinrich Stadial 4 during the last glacial period was marked by severe cooling at northern high latitudes along with the attendant changes in Asian Monsoon (Chinese Stadial 4) and South American Monsoon (South American Stadial 4). Here we present improved constraints on timings of Heinrich/Chinese/South American Stadial 4 onset and termination at sub-centennial precision based on speleothem records. We show that their initial onsets were essentially synchronous (40.20 ± 0.08 thousand years ago) and led the Antarctic warming by ~300 years. The Heinrich/Chinese Stadial 4 termination commenced at 38.34 ± 0.07 thousand years ago following a centennial-scale reduction in the Amazon River runoff and a poleward shift of the Southern Westerly wind belt. These two precursor events may have contributed to a reduced Amazon Plume Region and an enhanced Agulhas salt/heat leakage that led to an abrupt resumption of the Atlantic Meridional Ocean Circulation eventually triggering the Heinrich/Chinese Stadial 4 termination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number230
JournalCommunications Earth and Environment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

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