Marine climate variability during the last millennium: The Loch Sunart record, Scotland, UK

Alix Gayle Cage, William Austin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The first decadal-scale reconstruction of British coastal temperature anomalies spanning the last millennium is presented from a sea loch (fjord) basin. Loch Sunart, NW Scotland. Based on modern observation and the results of previous numerical modeling of fjord circulation, benthic foraminiferal oxygen isotope records are interpreted as a record of summer temperature. A significant climate transition, apparently driven by large-scale reorganization of northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation, occurs in the record around AD 1400. An abrupt, but relatively short-lived climate warming occurs between AD 1540-1610, when the bottom water temperature anomalies are 11 degrees C above the long-term average, which is warmer than most of the 20th century and the late Medieval Warm Period. A long-term cooling occurs throughout the Little Ice Age culminating in the coldest recorded temperature anomalies between the late 1920s and 1940s The warmest reconstructed temperatures of the past millennium occurred in the last 5 years of the record, which ends in 2006. A replicated post-AD 1900 shift in benthic foraminiferal delta C-13 of ca -0.6 parts per thousand provides evidence of the Oceanic delta C-13 Suess Effect; this feature provides an independent test of the age model and demonstrates the value of benthic foraminifera as palaeo-proxies in the Loch Sunart record (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1633-1647
Number of pages15
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume29
Issue number13-14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

Keywords

  • NORTH-ATLANTIC OSCILLATION
  • SEA-SURFACE TEMPERATURES
  • DEEP-WATER RENEWAL
  • THERMOHALINE CIRCULATION
  • STABLE-ISOTOPES
  • OXYGEN ISOTOPES
  • SCOTTISH FJORD
  • ATMOSPHERIC CIRCULATION
  • DECADAL VARIABILITY
  • HOLOCENE CLIMATE

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