Estimation of sea surface temperatures and salinity of ODP Site 177-1089 (Appendix A), supplement to: Cortese, Giuseppe; Abelmann, Andrea; Gersonde, Rainer (2004): A glacial warm water anomaly in the subantarctic Atlantic Ocean, near the Agulhas Retroflection. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 222(3-4), 767-778


ODP Site 1089 is optimally located in order to monitor the occurrence of maxima in Agulhas heat and salt spillage from the Indian to the Atlantic Ocean. Radiolarian-based paleotemperature transfer functions allowed to reconstruct the climatic history for the last 450 kyr at this location. A warm sea surface temperature anomaly during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 10 was recognized and traced to other oceanic records along the surface branch of the global thermohaline (THC) circulation system, and is particularly marked at locations where a strong interaction between oceanic and atmospheric overturning cells and fronts occurs. This anomaly is absent in the Vostok ice core deuterium, and in oceanic records from the Antarctic Zone. However, it is present in the deuterium excess record from the Vostok ice core, interpreted as reflecting the temperature at the moisture source site for the snow precipitated at Vostok Station. As atmospheric models predict a subtropical Indian source for such moisture, this provides the necessary teleconnection between East Antarctica and ODP Site 1089, as the subtropical Indian is also the source area of the Agulhas Current, the main climate agent at our study location.The presence of the MIS 10 anomaly in the delta13C foraminiferal records from the same core supports its connection to oceanic mechanisms, linking stronger Agulhas spillover intensity to increased productivity in the study area. We suggest, in analogy to modern oceanographic observations, this to be a consequence of a shallow nutricline, induced by eddy mixing and baroclinic tide generation, which are in turn connected to the flow geometry, and intensity, of the Agulhas Current as it flows past the Agulhas Bank.We interpret the intensified inflow of Agulhas Current to the South Atlantic as responding to the switch between lower and higher amplitude in the insolation forcing in the Agulhas Current source area. This would result in higher SSTs in the Cape Basin during the glacial MIS 10, due to the release into the South Atlantic of the heat previously accumulating in the subtropical and equatorial Indian and Pacific Ocean. If our explanation for the MIS 10 anomaly in terms of an insolation variability switch is correct, we might expect that a future Agulhas SSST anomaly event will further delay the onset of next glacial age. In fact, the insolation forcing conditions for the Holocene (the current interglacial) are very similar to those present during MIS 11 (the interglacial preceding MIS 10), as both periods are characterized by a low insolation variability for the Agulhas Current source area. Natural climatic variability will force the Earth system in the same direction as the anthropogenic global warming trend, and will thus lead to even warmer than expected global temperatures in the near future.

Related Identifier
Metadata Access
Creator Cortese, Giuseppe; Abelmann, Andrea; Gersonde, Rainer
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Contributor Hodell, David A
Publication Year 2004
Funding Reference German Science Foundation
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 1827 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (9.894 LON, -40.936 LAT); South Atlantic Ocean