Timing of the Antarctic cold reversal and the atmospheric CO2 increase with respect to the Younger Dryas Event



The transition from the Last Glacial to the Holocene is a key period for understanding the mechanisms of global climate change. Ice cores from the large polar ice sheets provide a wealth of information with good time resolution for this period. However, interactions between the two hemispheres can only be investigated if ice core records from Greenland and Antarctica can be synchronised accurately and reliably. The atmospheric methane concentration shows large and very fast changes during this period. These variations are well suited for a synchronisation of the age scales of ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica. Here we confirm the proposed lead of the Antarctic Cold Reversal on the Younger Dryas cold event. The Antarctic cooling precedes the Younger Dryas by at least 1.8 kyr. This suggests that northern and southern hemispheres were in anti-phase during the Younger Dryas cold event. A further result of the synchronisation is that the long-term glacial-interglacial increase of atmospheric CO2 was not interrupted during the Younger Dryas event and that atmospheric CO2 changes are not necessarily dominated by changes in the North Atlantic circulation.