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Hydrological change in Southern Europe responding to increasing North Atlantic overturning during Greenland Stadial 1

Bartolomé, Miguel, Moreno, Ana, Sancho, Carlos, Stoll, Heather M., Cacho, Isabel, Sṕötl, Christoph, Belmonte, Ánchel, Edwards, R. Lawrence, Cheng, Hai, Hellstrom, John C.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2015 v.112 no.21 pp. 6568-6572
cold, hydrology, models, stable isotopes, temperature, trace elements, Europe, Greenland, Southern European region, Western European region
Greenland Stadial 1 (GS-1) was the last of a long series of severe cooling episodes in the Northern Hemisphere during the last glacial period. Numerous North Atlantic and European records reveal the intense environmental impact of that stadial, whose origin is attributed to an intense weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation in response to freshening of the North Atlantic. Recent high-resolution studies of European lakes revealed a mid–GS-1 transition in the climatic regimes. The geographical extension of such atmospheric changes and their potential coupling with ocean dynamics still remains unclear. Here we use a subdecadally resolved stalagmite record from the Northern Iberian Peninsula to further investigate the timing and forcing of this transition. A solid interpretation of the environmental changes detected in this new, accurately dated, stalagmite record is based on a parallel cave monitoring exercise. This record reveals a gradual transition from dry to wet conditions starting at 12,500 y before 2000 A.D. in parallel to a progressive warming of the subtropical Atlantic Ocean. The observed atmospheric changes are proposed to be led by a progressive resumption of the North Atlantic convection and highlight the complex regional signature of GS-1, very distinctive from previous stadial events.