North Atlantic circulation and reservoir age changes over the past 41,000 years
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1002/grl.50679
Constraints on the timing of Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) changes during the last deglaciation are fundamental to understanding the climate's rapid response to insolation forcing. However, uncertainty about high-latitude North Atlantic (HLNA) radiocarbon reservoir ages has previously precluded robust age model development for this critical region. HLNA reservoir ages also serve as a proxy for AMOC strength. We present regionally averaged HLNA reservoir ages for 0 to 41 thousand years before the present (kyr BP) based on over 500 radiocarbon dates from 33 North Atlantic cores. An early deglacial increase to >1000 14C yr reservoir ages between 18.5 and 16.5 kyr BP suggests reduced AMOC before peak Heinrich Stadial 1 (HS1) ice-rafted debris (IRD). A rapid decrease in reservoir ages coincident with the IRD maximum at 16 kyr BP indicates strong stratification of the upper water column caused by massive freshwater release. © 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.