Global climate evolution during the last deglaciation.


Journal Article

Deciphering the evolution of global climate from the end of the Last Glacial Maximum approximately 19 ka to the early Holocene 11 ka presents an outstanding opportunity for understanding the transient response of Earth's climate system to external and internal forcings. During this interval of global warming, the decay of ice sheets caused global mean sea level to rise by approximately 80 m; terrestrial and marine ecosystems experienced large disturbances and range shifts; perturbations to the carbon cycle resulted in a net release of the greenhouse gases CO(2) and CH(4) to the atmosphere; and changes in atmosphere and ocean circulation affected the global distribution and fluxes of water and heat. Here we summarize a major effort by the paleoclimate research community to characterize these changes through the development of well-dated, high-resolution records of the deep and intermediate ocean as well as surface climate. Our synthesis indicates that the superposition of two modes explains much of the variability in regional and global climate during the last deglaciation, with a strong association between the first mode and variations in greenhouse gases, and between the second mode and variations in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Clark, PU; Shakun, JD; Baker, PA; Bartlein, PJ; Brewer, S; Brook, E; Carlson, AE; Cheng, H; Kaufman, DS; Liu, Z; Marchitto, TM; Mix, AC; Morrill, C; Otto-Bliesner, BL; Pahnke, K; Russell, JM; Whitlock, C; Adkins, JF; Blois, JL; Clark, J; Colman, SM; Curry, WB; Flower, BP; He, F; Johnson, TC; Lynch-Stieglitz, J; Markgraf, V; McManus, J; Mitrovica, JX; Moreno, PI; Williams, JW

Published Date

  • May 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 109 / 19

Start / End Page

  • E1134 - E1142

PubMed ID

  • 22331892

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22331892

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.1116619109


  • eng