The fast climate fluctuations during the stadial and interstadial climate states

P. D. Ditlevsen, S. Ditlevsen, Katrine Krogh Andersen

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Rapid climate changes during the last glacial period were first observed in ice-core records (Dansgaard and others, 1982). These shifts between interstadials, called Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) events, and stadials or deep glaciation were later seen in Atlantic sediment records (Bond and others, 1993), pointing to the ocean circulation as a strong component in the dynamics of these shifts (Wright and Stocker, 1991). The interstadial states are observed to have a characteristic "sawtooth" shape, indicating a gradual drift of the stable interstadial state toward the stable stadial state. In order to contrast the two climate states, we have separated the delta(18)O signal from the Greenland Icecore Project ice core into periods corresponding to the two states. The climate variability in the two different climatic states is different Johnsen and others, 1997). We find that the standard deviation is significantly larger in the stadial than in the interstadial state. Both states are found to have a larger standard deviation than the Holocene part of the record. The correlation times in the different states are difficult to obtain because of limited data resolution and diffusion of the isotopic signal. However, using a statistical technique, we have estimated the correlation times. We do not find significant differences in the correlation times, which are of the order of months, in the different climatic states. These findings are interpreted in the context of a simple linear stochastic model which provides information about the relative roles of the climatic forcing and the stability of the climate state governing the climate variability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Glaciology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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