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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 05 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 05 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Sea surface temperature in the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean over the Late Glacial and Holocene

Lisa C. Orme1,2, Xavier Crosta3, Arto Miettinen1,4, Dmitry V. Divine1,5, Katrine Husum1, Elisabeth Isaksson1, Lukas Wacker6, Rahul Mohan7, Olivier Ther3, and Minoru Ikehara8 Lisa C. Orme et al.
  • 1Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, 9296, Norway
  • 2ICARUS, Department of Geography, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Ireland
  • 3UMR 5805 EPOC, Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
  • 4Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsink, Helsinki, 00014, Finland
  • 5Department of Mathematics and Statistics, The Arctic University of Norway, 9037, Tromsø, Norway
  • 6Department of Physics, ETH Zürich, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
  • 7National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, Vasco-da-Gama, Goa 403 804, India
  • 8Center for Advanced Marine Core Research, Kochi University, Nankoku, 783-8502, Japan

Abstract. Centennial and millennial scale variability of Southern Ocean temperature is poorly known, due to both short instrumental records and sparsely distributed high-resolution temperature reconstructions, with evidence for past temperature variability instead coming mainly from ice core records. Here we present a high-resolution (~ 60 year), diatom-based sea-surface temperature (SST) reconstruction from the western Indian sector of the Southern Ocean that spans the interval 14.2 to 1.0 ka BP (calibrated kiloyears before present). During the late deglaciation, the new SST record shows cool temperatures at 14.2–12.9 ka BP and gradual warming between 12.9–11.6 ka BP in phase with atmospheric temperature evolution. This supports that the temperature of the Southern Ocean during the deglaciation was linked with a complex combination of processes and drivers associated with reorganisations of atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns. Specifically, we suggest that Southern Ocean surface warming coincided, within the dating uncertainties, with the reconstructed slowdown of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), rising atmospheric CO2 levels, changes in the southern westerly winds and enhanced upwelling. During the Holocene the record shows warm and stable temperatures from 11.6–8.7 ka BP followed by a slight cooling and greater variability from 8.7 to 1 ka BP, with a quasi-periodic variability of 200–260 years as identified by spectral analysis. We suggest that the increased variability during the mid to late Holocene may reflect the establishment of centennial variability in SST connected with changes in the high latitude atmospheric circulation and Southern Ocean convection, as identified in models.

Lisa C. Orme et al.

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Lisa C. Orme et al.

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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
A record of past sea temperature in the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean, spanning the last 14200 years, has been developed by analysis of fossil diatoms in marine sediment. During the late deglaciation the reconstructed temperature changes were highly similar to those over Antarctica, most likely due to a reorganisation of global ocean and atmospheric circulation. During the last 11600 years temperatures gradually cooled and became increasingly variable.
A record of past sea temperature in the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean, spanning the last...