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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2016-31
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2016-31
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 17 Mar 2016

Research article | 17 Mar 2016

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript for further review has not been submitted.

Disentangling the effect of ocean temperatures and isotopic content on the oxygen – isotope signals in the North Atlantic Ocean during Heinrich Event 1 using a global climate model

Marianne Bügelmayer-Blaschek1, Didier M. Roche1,2, Hans Renssen1, and Claire Waelbroeck2 Marianne Bügelmayer-Blaschek et al.
  • 1Earth and Climate Cluster, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE), CEA/CNRS-INSU/UVSQ, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France

Abstract. Heinrich events are intriguing episodes of enhanced iceberg discharge occurring during the last glacial period and are characterized by a steep increase in ice rafted debris (IRD) found in North Atlantic cores. Yet, their signal is not directly recognizable in the carbonate oxygen isotopic composition recorded in planktonic foraminifera, which depends on both the prevailing temperature and isotopic composition of seawater. Using the global isotope-enabled climate – iceberg model iLOVECLIM we performed three experiments to shed light on first, the impact of the duration of a Heinrich event-like iceberg forcing on the North Atlantic Ocean and second, the mechanisms behind the simulated δ18Ocalcite pattern. We applied an iceberg forcing of 0.2 Sv for 300, 600 and 900 years, respectively, and find a strong and non-linear response of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) to the duration of the Heinrich event in iLOVECLIM. Moreover, our results show that the timing of the first response to the iceberg forcing coincides between all the experiments in the various regions and happens within 300 years. Furthermore, the experiments display two main patterns in the δ18Ocalcite signal. On the one hand, the central and northeast North Atlantic regions display almost no response in δ18Ocalcite to the applied iceberg forcing since the changes in sea surface temperature and δ18Oseawater compensate each other or, if the forcing is applied long enough, a delayed response is seen. On the other hand, we show that in Baffin Bay, the Nordic Seas and the subtropical North Atlantic the change in δ18Oseawater exceeds the sea surface temperature signal and there the δ18Ocalcite pattern closely follows the δ18Oseawater signal and displays a continuous decrease over the length of the Heinrich event with the minimum value at the end of the iceberg release. The comparison of the model experiments with four marine sediment cores indicates that the experiment with an iceberg forcing of 0.2 Sv for 300 years yields the most reasonable results.

Marianne Bügelmayer-Blaschek et al.
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Marianne Bügelmayer-Blaschek et al.
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Short summary
Using the global isotope-enabled climate – iceberg model iLOVECLIM we performed three experiments to investigate the mechanisms behind the simulated δ18Ocalcite pattern applying a Heinrich event like iceberg forcing. Our model results display two main patterns in the δ18Ocalcite signal. First, we find regions that display almost no response in δ18Ocalcite and second, regions where the δ18Ocalcite pattern closely follows the δ18Oseawater signal.
Using the global isotope-enabled climate – iceberg model iLOVECLIM we performed three...
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