Muted multidecadal climate variability in central Europe during cold stadial periods
Summary, in English
During the last ice age, the Northern Hemisphere experienced a series of abrupt millennial-scale climatic changes linked to variations in the strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and sea-ice extent. However, our understanding of their impacts on decadal-scale climate variability in central Europe has been limited by the lack of high-resolution continental archives. Here, we present a near annual-resolution climate proxy record of central European temperature reconstructed from the Eifel maar lakes of Holzmaar and Auel in Germany, spanning the past 60,000 years. The lake sediments reveal a series of previously undocumented multidecadal climate cycles of around 20 to 150 years that persisted through the last glacial cycle. The periodicity of these cycles suggests that they are related to the Atlantic multidecadal climate oscillations found in the instrumental record and in other climate archives during the Holocene. Our record shows that multidecadal variability in central Europe was strong during all warm interstadials, but was substantially muted during all cold stadial periods. We suggest that this decrease in multidecadal variability was the result of the atmospheric circulation changes associated with the weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and the expansion of North Atlantic sea-ice cover during the coldest parts of the last ice age.
- Quaternary Sciences
- MERGE: ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system
Nature Publishing Group
- Climate Research
- ISSN: 1752-0894