Northern Hemisphere glaciation during the globally warm early late Pliocene

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doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081508
Author(s): de Schepper, Stijn; Groeneveld, Jeroen; Naafs, B. David A.; van Renterghem, Cédéric; Hennissen, Jan; Head, Martin J.; Louwye, Stephen; Fabian, Karl
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
University of Bergen, Department of Earth Science, Bergen, Norway
Other:
University of Bremen, Germany
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany
Ghent University, Belgium
University of Toronto, Canada
Norwegian Geological Survey, Norway
Volume Title: PloS One
Source: PloS One, 2013(E81508). Publisher: Public Library of Science, San Francisco, CA, United States. ISSN: 1932-6203
Note: In English. 81 refs.; illus., incl. 9 tables, sketch map
Summary: The early Late Pliocene (3.6 to ∼3.0 million years ago) is the last extended interval in Earth's history when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were comparable to today's and global climate was warmer. Yet a severe global glaciation during marine isotope stage (MIS) M2 interrupted this phase of global warmth ∼3.30 million years ago, and is seen as a premature attempt of the climate system to establish an ice-age world. Here we propose a conceptual model for the glaciation and deglaciation of MIS M2 based on geochemical and palynological records from five marine sediment cores along a Caribbean to eastern North Atlantic transect. Our records show that increased Pacific-to-Atlantic flow via the Central American Seaway weakened the North Atlantic Current and attendant northward heat transport prior to MIS M2. The consequent cooling of the northern high latitude oceans permitted expansion of the continental ice sheets during MIS M2, despite near-modern atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Sea level drop during this glaciation halted the inflow of Pacific water to the Atlantic via the Central American Seaway, allowing the build-up of a Caribbean Warm Pool. Once this warm pool was large enough, the Gulf Stream-North Atlantic Current system was reinvigorated, leading to significant northward heat transport that terminated the glaciation. Before and after MIS M2, heat transport via the North Atlantic Current was crucial in maintaining warm climates comparable to those predicted for the end of this century.
Year of Publication: 2013
Research Program: DSDP Deep Sea Drilling Project
IODP Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
IPOD International Phase of Ocean Drilling
ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 02 Geochemistry; 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Alkaline earth metals; Alkenones; Ancient ice ages; Assemblages; Atlantic Ocean; Calcium; Caribbean Sea; Cenozoic; Central American Seaway; Colombian Basin; DSDP Site 603; DSDP Site 610; Deep Sea Drilling Project; Dinoflagellata; Expedition 303; Expedition 306; Expeditions 303/306; Floral list; Foraminifera; IODP Site U1308; IODP Site U1313; IPOD; Integrated Ocean Drilling Program; Invertebrata; Isotope ratios; Isotopes; Ketones; Leg 165; Leg 94; Magnesium; Metals; Mg/Ca; Microfossils; Mid-Atlantic Ridge; Neogene; North Atlantic; Northeast Atlantic; O-18/O-16; ODP Site 999; Ocean Drilling Program; Organic compounds; Oxygen; Paleo-oceanography; Paleoclimatology; Paleogeography; Paleomagnetism; Palynomorphs; Pliocene; Protista; Rockall Trough; Stable isotopes; Tertiary; Theoretical models; Upper Pliocene
Coordinates: N124437 N124437 W0784422 W0784422
N352939 N352940 W0700142 W0700143
N531318 N531329 W0185312 W0185342
N495300 N495300 W0241400 W0241400
Record ID: 2014031700
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