Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Commun. 2012 Jul 24;3:965. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1973.

Pronounced interannual variability in tropical South Pacific temperatures during Heinrich Stadial 1.

Author information

MARUM-Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany.


The early last glacial termination was characterized by intense North Atlantic cooling and weak overturning circulation. This interval between ~18,000 and 14,600 years ago, known as Heinrich Stadial 1, was accompanied by a disruption of global climate and has been suggested as a key factor for the termination. However, the response of interannual climate variability in the tropical Pacific (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) to Heinrich Stadial 1 is poorly understood. Here we use Sr/Ca in a fossil Tahiti coral to reconstruct tropical South Pacific sea surface temperature around 15,000 years ago at monthly resolution. Unlike today, interannual South Pacific sea surface temperature variability at typical El Niño-Southern Oscillation periods was pronounced at Tahiti. Our results indicate that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation was active during Heinrich Stadial 1, consistent with climate model simulations of enhanced El Niño-Southern Oscillation variability at that time. Furthermore, a greater El Niño-Southern Oscillation influence in the South Pacific during Heinrich Stadial 1 is suggested, resulting from a southward expansion or shift of El Niño-Southern Oscillation sea surface temperature anomalies.


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center