Coupling of equatorial Atlantic surface stratification to glacial shifts in the tropical rainbelt.

Portilho-Ramos, R. C., Chiessi, C. M., Zhang, Y., Mulitza, S., Kucera, M., Siccha, M., Prange, M. and Paul, A. (2017) Coupling of equatorial Atlantic surface stratification to glacial shifts in the tropical rainbelt. Open Access Scientific Reports, 7 (1). Art.Nr. 1561. DOI 10.1038/s41598-017-01629-z.

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The modern state of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation promotes a northerly maximum of tropical rainfall associated with the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). For continental regions, abrupt millennial–scale meridional shifts of this rainbelt are well documented, but the behavior of its oceanic counterpart is unclear due the lack of a robust proxy and high temporal resolution records. Here we show that the Atlantic ITCZ leaves a distinct signature in planktonic foraminifera assemblages. We applied this proxy to investigate the history of the Atlantic ITCZ for the last 30,000 years based on two high temporal resolution records from the western Atlantic Ocean. Our reconstruction indicates that the shallowest mixed layer associated with the Atlantic ITCZ unambiguously shifted meridionally in response to changes in the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning with a southward displacement during Heinrich Stadials 2–1 and the Younger Dryas. We conclude that the Atlantic ITCZ was located at ca. 1°S (ca. 5° to the south of its modern annual mean position) during Heinrich Stadial 1. This supports a previous hypothesis, which postulates a southern hemisphere position of the oceanic ITCZ during climatic states with substantially reduced or absent cross-equatorial oceanic meridional heat transport.

Document Type: Article
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
Publisher: Nature Research
Projects: PalMod in-kind
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2018 10:14
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 09:10

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