Last Interglacial decadal sea surface temperature variability in the eastern Mediterranean.

Obreht, Igor, De Vleeschouwer, David, Wörmer, Lars, Kucera, Michal, Varma, Devika, Prange, Matthias, Laepple, Thomas, Wendt, Jenny, Nandini-Weiss, Sri D., Schulz, Hartmut and Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe (2022) Last Interglacial decadal sea surface temperature variability in the eastern Mediterranean. Open Access Nature Geoscience, 15 (10). pp. 812-818. DOI 10.1038/s41561-022-01016-y.

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The Last Interglacial (~129,000–116,000 years ago) is the most recent geologic period with a warmer-than-present climate. Proxy-based temperature reconstructions from this interval can help contextualize natural climate variability in our currently warming world, especially if they can define changes on decadal timescales. Here, we established a ~4.800-year-long record of sea surface temperature (SST) variability from the eastern Mediterranean Sea at 1–4-year resolution by applying mass spectrometry imaging of long-chain alkenones to a finely laminated organic-matter-rich sapropel deposited during the Last Interglacial. We observe the highest amplitude of decadal variability in the early stage of sapropel deposition, plausibly due to reduced vertical mixing of the highly stratified water column. With the subsequent reorganization of oceanographic conditions in the later stage of sapropel deposition, when SST forcing resembled the modern situation, we observe that the maximum amplitude of reconstructed decadal variability did not exceed the range of the recent period of warming climate. The more gradual, centennial SST trends reveal that the maximal centennial scale SST increase in our Last Interglacial record is below the projected temperature warming in the twenty-first century.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: PalMod in-kind
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Nature Research
Related URLs:
Projects: PalMod in-kind
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2022 10:31
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2023 09:11

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