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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Oct 30;104(44):17278-82. Epub 2007 Oct 22.

From the Cover: Antarctic climate signature in the Greenland ice core record.

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  • 1School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences, Cardiff University, Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3YE, United Kingdom.


A numerical algorithm is applied to the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) dust record from Greenland to remove the abrupt changes in dust flux associated with the Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) oscillations of the last glacial period. The procedure is based on the assumption that the rapid changes in dust are associated with large-scale changes in atmospheric transport and implies that D-O oscillations (in terms of their atmospheric imprint) are more symmetric in form than can be inferred from Greenland temperature records. After removal of the abrupt shifts the residual, dejumped dust record is found to match Antarctic climate variability with a temporal lag of several hundred years. It is argued that such variability may reflect changes in the source region of Greenland dust (thought to be the deserts of eastern Asia). Other records from this region and more globally also reveal Antarctic-style variability and suggest that this signal is globally pervasive. This provides the potential basis for suggesting a more important role for gradual changes in triggering more abrupt transitions in the climate system.

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