Tropically-driven climate shifts in southwestern Europe during MIS 19, a low eccentricity interglacial

Sánchez Goñi, M.F.; Rodrigues, T.; Hodell, D.A.; Polanco-Martínez, J.M.; Alonso-García, M.; Hernandez Almeida, Ivan; Desprat, S.; Ferretti, P. (2016). Tropically-driven climate shifts in southwestern Europe during MIS 19, a low eccentricity interglacial. Earth and planetary science letters, 448, pp. 81-93. Elsevier 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.05.018

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The relative roles of high- versus low-latitude forcing of millennial-scale climate variability are still not well understood. Here we present terrestrial–marine climate profiles from the southwestern Iberian margin, a region particularly affected by precession, that show millennial climate oscillations related to a nonlinear response to the Earth's precession cycle during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 19. MIS 19 has been considered the best analogue to our present interglacial from an astronomical point of view due to the reduced eccentricity centred at 785 ka. In our records, seven millennial-scale forest contractions punctuated MIS 19 superimposed to two orbitally-driven Mediterranean forest expansions. In contrast to our present interglacial, we evidence for the first time low latitude-driven 5000-yr cycles of drying and cooling in the western Mediterranean region, along with warmth in the subtropical gyre related to the fourth harmonic of precession. These cycles indicate repeated intensification of North Atlantic meridional moisture transport that along with decrease in boreal summer insolation triggered ice growth and may have contributed to the glacial inception, at ∼774 ka. The freshwater fluxes during MIS 19ab amplified the cooling events in the North Atlantic promoting further cooling and leading to MIS 18 glaciation. The discrepancy between the dominant cyclicity observed during MIS 1, 2500-yr, and that of MIS 19, 5000-yr, challenges the similar duration of the Holocene and MIS 19c interglacials under natural boundary conditions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Paleolimnology
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Hernandez Almeida, Ivan


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
900 History > 910 Geography & travel








Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

18 Jul 2016 15:56

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:56

Publisher DOI:





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