Pronounced centennial-scale Atlantic Ocean climate variability correlated with Western Hemisphere hydroclimate

Nature Communications
By: , and 

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Abstract

Surface-ocean circulation in the northern Atlantic Ocean influences Northern Hemisphere climate. Century-scale circulation variability in the Atlantic Ocean, however, is poorly constrained due to insufficiently-resolved paleoceanographic records. Here we present a replicated reconstruction of sea-surface temperature and salinity from a site sensitive to North Atlantic circulation in the Gulf of Mexico which reveals pronounced centennial-scale variability over the late Holocene. We find significant correlations on these timescales between salinity changes in the Atlantic, a diagnostic parameter of circulation, and widespread precipitation anomalies using three approaches: multiproxy synthesis, observational datasets, and a transient simulation. Our results demonstrate links between centennial changes in northern Atlantic surface-circulation and hydroclimate changes in the adjacent continents over the late Holocene. Notably, our findings reveal that weakened surface-circulation in the Atlantic Ocean was concomitant with well-documented rainfall anomalies in the Western Hemisphere during the Little Ice Age.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Pronounced centennial-scale Atlantic Ocean climate variability correlated with Western Hemisphere hydroclimate
Series title Nature Communications
DOI 10.1038/s41467-018-02846-4
Volume 9
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Nature
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description Article number 392; 11 p.
First page 1
Last page 11