Wind-driven evolution of the North Pacific subpolar gyre over the last deglaciation
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North Pacific atmospheric and oceanic circulations are key missing pieces in our understanding of the reorganisation of the global climate system since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Here, using a basin‐wide compilation of planktic foraminiferal δ18O, we show that the North Pacific subpolar gyre extended ~3° further south during the LGM, consistent with sea surface temperature and productivity proxy data. Climate models indicate that the expansion of the subpolar gyre was associated with a substantial gyre strengthening, and that these gyre circulation changes were driven by a southward shift of the mid‐latitude westerlies and increased wind‐stress from the polar easterlies. Using single‐forcing model runs, we show that these atmospheric circulation changes are a non‐linear response to ice‐sheet topography/albedo, and CO2. Our reconstruction indicates that the gyre boundary (and thus westerly winds) began to migrate northward at ~16.5 ka, driving changes in ocean heat transport, biogeochemistry, and North American hydroclimate.
Gray , W R , Wills , R CJ , Rae , J W B , Burke , A , Ivanovic , R F , Roberts , W HG , Ferreira , D & Valdes , P J 2020 , ' Wind-driven evolution of the North Pacific subpolar gyre over the last deglaciation ' , Geophysical Research Letters , vol. 47 , no. 6 , e2019GL086328 . https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL086328
Geophysical Research Letters
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DescriptionFunding: UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) grant NE/N011716/1 (JWBR and AB). Tamaki Foundation, NASA (Grant NNX17AH56G), and NSF (Grant AGS-1929775) (RCJW). NERC Independent Research Fellowship NE/K008536/1 (RFI).
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