Synchronous volcanic eruptions and abrupt climate change ∼17.7 ka plausibly linked by stratospheric ozone depletion.

McConnell, Joseph R., Burke, Andrea, Dunbar, Nelia W., Köhler, Peter, Thomas, Jennie L., Arienzo, Monica M., Chellman, Nathan J., Maselli, Olivia J., Sigl, Michael, Adkins, Jess F., Baggenstos, Daniel, Burkhart, John F., Brook, Edward J., Buizert, Christo, Cole-Dai, Jihong, Fudge, T. J., Knorr, Gregor, Graf, Hans-F., Grieman, Mackenzie M., Iverson, Nels, McGwire, Kenneth C., Mulvaney, Robert, Paris, Guillaume, Rhodes, Rachael H., Saltzman, Eric S., Severinghaus, Jeffrey P., Steffensen, Jørgen Peder, Taylor, Kendrick C. and Winckler, Gisela (2017) Synchronous volcanic eruptions and abrupt climate change ∼17.7 ka plausibly linked by stratospheric ozone depletion. Open Access PNAS Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114 (38). pp. 10035-10040. DOI 10.1073/pnas.1705595114.

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Abstract

Significance:
Cold and dry glacial-state climate conditions persisted in the Southern Hemisphere until approximately 17.7 ka, when paleoclimate records show a largely unexplained sharp, nearly synchronous acceleration in deglaciation. Detailed measurements in Antarctic ice cores document exactly at that time a unique, ∼192-y series of massive halogen-rich volcanic eruptions geochemically attributed to Mount Takahe in West Antarctica. Rather than a coincidence, we postulate that halogen-catalyzed stratospheric ozone depletion over Antarctica triggered large-scale atmospheric circulation and hydroclimate changes similar to the modern Antarctic ozone hole, explaining the synchronicity and abruptness of accelerated Southern Hemisphere deglaciation.

Abstract:
Glacial-state greenhouse gas concentrations and Southern Hemisphere climate conditions persisted until ∼17.7 ka, when a nearly synchronous acceleration in deglaciation was recorded in paleoclimate proxies in large parts of the Southern Hemisphere, with many changes ascribed to a sudden poleward shift in the Southern Hemisphere westerlies and subsequent climate impacts. We used high-resolution chemical measurements in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide, Byrd, and other ice cores to document a unique, ∼192-y series of halogen-rich volcanic eruptions exactly at the start of accelerated deglaciation, with tephra identifying the nearby Mount Takahe volcano as the source. Extensive fallout from these massive eruptions has been found >2,800 km from Mount Takahe. Sulfur isotope anomalies and marked decreases in ice core bromine consistent with increased surface UV radiation indicate that the eruptions led to stratospheric ozone depletion. Rather than a highly improbable coincidence, circulation and climate changes extending from the Antarctic Peninsula to the subtropics—similar to those associated with modern stratospheric ozone depletion over Antarctica—plausibly link the Mount Takahe eruptions to the onset of accelerated Southern Hemisphere deglaciation ∼17.7 ka.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: climate; deglaciation; volcanism; ozone; aerosol
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1073/pnas.1705595114
ISSN: 0027-8424
Projects: PalMod in-kind
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2018 10:55
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 15:09
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/44253

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