Simultaneous Climatic Change in Both Hemispheres and Similar Bipolar Interglacial Warming: Evidence and Implications

  1. James E. Hansen and
  2. Taro Takahashi
  1. John H. Mercer

Published Online: 19 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM029p0307

Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity

Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity

How to Cite

Mercer, J. H. (2013) Simultaneous Climatic Change in Both Hemispheres and Similar Bipolar Interglacial Warming: Evidence and Implications, in Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity (eds J. E. Hansen and T. Takahashi), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM029p0307

Author Information

  1. Institute of Polar Studies and Department of Geology and Mineralogy, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1984

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875904047

Online ISBN: 9781118666036

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Keywords:

  • Climatology—Congresses;
  • Geophysics—Congresses;
  • Ocean-atmosphere interaction—Congresses

Summary

Evidence now seems conclusive that orbital changes in some way controlled the succession of glacial and interglacial ages, at least during the second half of the Pleistocene. However, the mechanisms involved are not yet understood. In particular the simultaneity in the Northern and Southern hemispheres of the last interglacial ∼125,000 BP, the last glacial maxima ∼20,000 and ∼14,500 BP, and the following abrupt and rapid warming 14–11,000 BP, so far defies satisfactory explanation. Ability to forecast the relative magnitude of future CO2-induced climatic warming in the Northern and Southern hemispheres is needed in order to foretell the response of the cryosphere; climatic models give contrasting prognostications. Inconclusive evidence for deglaciation of West Antarctica during the last interglacial suggests that the Antarctic area then warmed by as much as did the Arctic. In many ways the last interglacial was probably an analogue of a future CO2-induced warm interval; proof or disproof of the suspected exceptional level of last interglacial warmth in Antarctica is needed in order to estimate the sensitivity of the global climate system to CO2 input.