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AD Wanamaker, PG Butler, JD Scourse, J Heinemeier, J EirĂ­ksson, KL Knudsen and CA Richardson
Abstract
Despite numerous investigations, the dynamical origins of the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age remain uncertain. A major unresolved issue relating to internal climate dynamics is the mode and tempo of Atlantic meridional overturning circulation variability, and the significance of decadal-to-centennial scale changes in Atlantic meridional overturning circulation strength in regulating the climate of the last millennium. Here we use the time-constrained high-resolution local radiocarbon reservoir age offset derived from an absolutely dated annually resolved shell chronology spanning the past 1,350 years, to reconstruct changes in surface ocean circulation and climate. The water mass tracer data presented here from the North Icelandic shelf, combined with previously published data from the Arctic and subtropical Atlantic, show that surface Atlantic meridional overturning circulation dynamics likely amplified the relatively warm conditions during the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the relatively cool conditions during the Little Ice Age within the North Atlantic sector.
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Concepts
North Atlantic Deep Water, Atlantic Ocean, Greenland, Climate, Ocean, Thermohaline circulation, Arctic Ocean, Earth
MeSH headings
Arctic Regions, Climate, Oceans and Seas, Seawater, Temperature
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