Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rapid climate changes at end of last glaciation, but with 120 year time lag

Date:
December 4, 2013
Source:
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Summary:
Regional climate changes can be very rapid. Geoscientists now report that such a rapid climate change occurred in different regions with a time difference of 120 years. Investigation in the west German Eifel region and in southern Norway demonstrated that at the end of the last glaciation about 12,240 years before present climate became warmer, first recognized in the Eifel region and 120 years later in southern Norway. Nonetheless, the warming was equally rapid in both regions.

The Merfelder Maar.
Credit: Maarmuseum Manderscheid

Regional climate changes can be very rapid. A German-British team of geoscientists now reports that such a rapid climate change occurred in different regions with a time difference of 120 years. Investigation in the west German Eifel region and in southern Norway demonstrated that at the end of the last glaciation about 12,240 years before present climate became warmer, first recognised in the Eifel region and 120 years later in southern Norway. Nonetheless, the warming was equally rapid in both regions.

Related Articles


The team around Christine Lane (Oxford University) and Achim Brauer from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences reports in the latest volume of Geology that within the younger Dryas, the last about 1100-year long cold phase at the end of the last ice age, a rapid warming first was measured in the Eifel region. Sediment cores from the Meerfelder Maar lake depict a typical deposition pattern, which was also found in the sediments of Lake Krakenes in southern Norway, but with a time lag of 120 years.

But how did the researcher revealed such a accurate time marking? "12 140 years ago a major eruption of the Katla volcano occurred on Iceland" explains Achim Brauer. "The volcanic ash was distributed by strong winds over large parts of northern and central Europe and we can find them with new technologies as tine ash particles in the sediment deposits of lakes. Through counting of annual bands in these sediments we could precisely determine the age of this volcanic ash." Therefore, this ash material reflects a distinct time marker in the sediments of the lakes in the Eifel and in Norway.

Furthermore, lake sediments are very accurate climate archives, especially when they contain seasonal bands similar like tree rings. "It is a diligent piece of work to count and analyse thousands of these thin layers under the microscope to reconstruct climate year-by-year far back in time," illustrates Brauer.

The ash of the Katla volcanic eruption thus was deposited at the same time in the Eifel and in Norway. The sediments of the Eifel maar lake depict the rapid warming 100 years before the volcanic ash, while it is seen in the southern Norwegian lake sediment 20 years after the volcanic eruption. The same warming, but with a 120 difference in timing between the about 1200 km distant locations? Achim Brauer: "We can explain this difference with the shift of hemispheric wind systems. Climate changed in both regions very rapid, but the polar front, that is the atmospheric boundary layer between cold polar air and the warmer air of the mid-latitudes, required more than 100 years to retreat from its glacial position at about the location of the Eifel at 50 N to its southern Norwegian position at 62 N." Hence, the study provides evidence for a rapid change that slowly moved northwards.

The result of this study has some implications on the understanding of both past and future climate change. The assumption of an everywhere and always synchronously changing climate must be questioned and climate models have to better consider such regional aspects.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. S. Lane, A. Brauer, S. P. E. Blockley, P. Dulski. Volcanic ash reveals time-transgressive abrupt climate change during the Younger Dryas. Geology, 2013; 41 (12): 1251 DOI: 10.1130/G34867.1

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. "Rapid climate changes at end of last glaciation, but with 120 year time lag." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204090958.htm>.
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. (2013, December 4). Rapid climate changes at end of last glaciation, but with 120 year time lag. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204090958.htm
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. "Rapid climate changes at end of last glaciation, but with 120 year time lag." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204090958.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ruins Thought To Be Port Actually Buried Greek City

Ruins Thought To Be Port Actually Buried Greek City

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) Media is calling it an "underwater Pompeii." Researchers have found ruins off the coast of Delos. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins