Wally Was Right: Predictive Ability of the North Atlantic

  title={Wally Was Right: Predictive Ability of the North Atlantic},
  author={Richard B. Alley},
  journal={Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences},
  • R. Alley
  • Published 30 April 2007
  • Environmental Science
  • Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Linked, abrupt changes of North Atlantic deep water formation, North Atlantic sea ice extent, and widespread climate occurred repeatedly during the last ice age cycle and beyond in response to changing freshwater fluxes and perhaps other causes. This paradigm, developed and championed especially by W.S. Broecker, has repeatedly proven to be successfully predictive as well as explanatory with high confidence. Much work remains to fully understand what happened and to assess possible implications… 

Figures from this paper

The role of oceanic heat transport in abrupt millennial-scale climate transitions

The last glacial period was punctuated by rapid climate swings, know as Dansgaard-Oeschger events (numbered on the figure), with strong imprint in the North Atlantic sector, suggesting that they were

The Role of Oceanic Heat Transport and Wind Stress Forcing in Abrupt Millennial-Scale Climate Transitions

The last glacial period was punctuated by rapid climate shifts, known as Dansgaard‐Oeschger events, with strong imprint in the North Atlantic sector suggesting that they were linked with the Atlantic

Oceanic Forcing of Ice-Sheet Retreat: West Antarctica and More

Ocean-ice interactions have exerted primary control on the Antarctic Ice Sheet and parts of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and will continue to do so in the near future, especially through melting of ice

Observing the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation yields a decade of inevitable surprises

A decade of observations of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation reveal an unexpected amount of variability over time scales from seasonal to decadal, as well as a general weakening over this time.

The influence of Greenland ice sheet melting on the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation during past and future warm periods: a model study

The sensitivity of the climate system to changes in radiative forcing is crucial for our understanding of past and future climates. Especially important are feedbacks related to melting of ice sheets

Solar Arctic-Mediated Climate Variation on Multidecadal to Centennial Timescales: Empirical Evidence, Mechanistic Explanation, and Testable Consequences

Soon (2005) showed that the variable total solar irradiance (TSI) could explain, rather surprisingly, well over 75% of the variance for the decadally smoothed Arctic-wide surface air temperature over

Coupled climate impacts of the Drake Passage and the Panama Seaway

Tectonically-active gateways between ocean basins have modified ocean circulation over Earth history. Today, the Atlantic and Pacific are directly connected via the Drake Passage, which forms a

North Atlantic millennial-scale climate variability, 910 to 790 ka

Iceberg discharges of the last glacial period driven by oceanic circulation changes

Results of the simulations of the Laurentide Ice Sheet forced by oceanic circulation changes support the hypothesis that these ice discharges were induced by the collapse of a buttressing ice shelf and the subsequent acceleration of inland ice streams, providing a new basis for understanding the dynamics of the coupled cryosphere–climate system of glacial cycles.

Ocean Circulations, Heat Budgets, and Future Commitment to Climate Change

Earth's surface will continue to warm for decades, and the sea level to rise for centuries, even if the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is held fixed at current levels. This is



North Atlantic thermohaline circulation during the past 20,000 years linked to high-latitude surface temperature

During a surface cooling event 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, higher Cd/Ca and lower 13C/12C ratios are observed in benthic foraminifera shells from rapidly accumulating western North Atlantic

Southern Hemisphere Water Mass Conversion Linked with North Atlantic Climate Variability

Coincidence with episodes of climate cooling and minimum or halted deepwater convection in the North Atlantic provides striking evidence for interdependence of water mass conversion in both hemispheres, with implications for interhemispheric forcing of ocean thermohaline circulation and climate instability.

Deglacial meltwater discharge, North Atlantic Deep Circulation, and abrupt climate change

High-resolution paleogeochemical data from the North Atlantic Ocean indicate that in the interval 15,000 to 10,000 14C years before present (B.P.) North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) production was

Massive iceberg discharges as triggers for global climate change

Observations of large and abrupt climate changes recorded in Greenland ice cores have spurred a search for clues to their cause. This search has revealed that at six times during the last glaciation,

Deep Circulation of the North Atlantic over the Last 200,000 Years: Geochemical Evidence

Data from a North Atlantic sediment core show that over the past 200,000 years there has been a continuous supply of nutrient-depleted waters into the deep North Atlantic, and indicates that the continental carbon inventory may have been less variable than previously suggested.

Simulated Tropical Response to a Substantial Weakening of the Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation

Abstract In this study, a mechanism is demonstrated whereby a large reduction in the Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC) can induce global-scale changes in the Tropics that are consistent with

Holocene climatic instability: A prominent, widespread event 8200 yr ago

The most prominent Holocene climatic event in Greenland ice-core proxies, with approximately half the amplitude of the Younger Dryas, occurred ∼8000 to 8400 yr ago. This Holocene event affected

Antarctic Timing of Surface Water Changes off Chile and Patagonian Ice Sheet Response

Marine sediments from the Chilean continental margin are used to infer millennial-scale changes in southeast Pacific surface ocean water properties and Patagonian ice sheet extent since the last

How extreme was northern hemisphere seasonality during the Younger Dryas

Radiocarbon Variability in the Western North Atlantic During the Last Deglaciation

The deep-ocean record supports the notion of a bipolar seesaw with increased Northern-source deep-water formation linked to Northern Hemisphere warming and the reverse, and the more frequent radiocarbon variations in the intermediate/deep ocean are associated with roughly synchronous changes at the poles.