Phased Patagonian Ice Sheet response to Southern Hemisphere atmospheric and oceanic warming between 18 and 17 ka

Jacob Bendle, Adrian Palmer, Varyl Thorndycraft, Ian Matthews

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The onset of deglaciation in the Southern Hemisphere mid-latitudes has been attributed to the southward transmission of climate anomalies in response to slow-down of Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) during Heinrich Stadial 1 (HS-1; 18–14.6 ka). However, inferences on the response of former ice sheets to sub-millennial palaeoclimate shifts are limited by a shortage of high-resolution terrestrial archives. Here we use a ~1000-year duration, annually-resolved lake sediment record to investigate the deglacial retreat dynamics of the Lago General Carrera–Buenos Aires ice lobe (46.5°S) of the former Patagonian Ice Sheet. We attribute the onset of glacier retreat at 18.0 ± 0.14 cal ka BP to abrupt southward migration of the Southern Westerly Winds that enhanced solar radiation receipt (and ablation) at the ice sheet surface. We infer that accelerated retreat from 17.77 ± 0.13 cal ka BP represents a lagged Southern Hemisphere response to gradual ocean-atmosphere warming associated with the centennial-scale transmission of Northern Hemisphere climate anomalies through the oceanic bipolar seesaw. By 17.38 ± 0.12 cal ka BP, the glacier margin had receded into a deepening proglacial lake, instigating sustained calving losses and more rapid ice recession.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4133
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2019

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