The Quaternary period is defined by a succession of glacial-interglacial cycles, characterized by high-amplitude temperature and sea-level variations that provide critical insights into future climate change. Rapid climate shifts, mediated by the atmosphere-ocean coupled system, were super-imposed on gradual cyclic orbital change, and often accompanied by profound reorganizations of global carbon reservoirs. It is speculated that the abruptness of these climate shifts stemmed from a non-linear behaviour of the thermohaline circulation in response to waxing and waning of Arctic Ice Sheets and Antarctic sea-ice. However, pressing questions remain regarding the timing and pattern of change across glacial terminations and inceptions, as well as the causal relationships between different components of the climate system. Critically, the chronological uncertainty and uneven geographical distribution of paleoclimate archives challenges our ability to address such questions.
This session invites contributions from both proxy- and model-based approaches studying the climate dynamics of glacial-interglacial transitions, focusing on both inceptions and terminations, with particular emphasis on the last deglaciation. With this session, we would like to advance the debate on the timing, drivers and pattern of glacial and deglacial climate change, focusing on the interplay between atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and carbon cycle and their impacts on the global climate system. We welcome contributions that address the entire spectrum of spatio-temporal scales, but particularly solicit studies that constrain inter-hemispheric climate interactions or capture regional climate heterogeneities.
Solicited contributors: Joel Benjamin Pedro – “The Bipolar Seesaw and Its Discontents” and P.C. Tzedakis, M. Crucifix, T. Mitsui & E.W. Wolff – “A simple rule to determine which insolation cycles lead to interglacials”