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Regional synthesis of Mediterranean atmospheric circulation during the Last Glacial Maximum

Date

2008

Authors

Kuhlemann, J.
Rohling, Eelco
Krumrei, I.
Kubik, Peter
Ivy-Ochs, S.
Kucera, M

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Abstract

Atmospheric circulation leaves few direct traces in the geological record, making reconstructions of this crucial element of the climate system inherently difficult. We produced a regional Mediterranean synthesis of paleo-proxy data from the sea surface to alpine altitudes. This provides a detailed observational context for change in the three-dimensional structure of atmospheric circulation between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ∼23,000 to 19,000 years ago) and the present. The synthesis reveals evidence for frequent cold polar air incursions, topographically channeled into the northwestern Mediterranean. Anomalously steep vertical temperature gradients in the central Mediterranean imply local convective precipitation. We find the LGM patterns to be analogous, though amplified, to previously reconstructed phases of enhanced meridional winter circulation during the Maunder Minimum (the Little Ice Age).

Description

Keywords

Keywords: atmospheric circulation; climate modeling; cold air; convective system; geological mapping; Last Glacial Maximum; precipitation (climatology); temperature gradient; air; arctic climate; article; atmosphere; glacial period; paleoceanography; precipitation;

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Journal article

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DOI

10.1126/science.1157638

Restricted until

2037-12-31