Rapid Natural Cooling 12,700 Years Ago

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Rapid Natural Cooling 12,700 Years Ago

4 Aug 08 — Researchers in Germany, Switzerland, and the United States have shown, for the first time, that an extremely fast climate change occurred in Western Europe.

The research, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, was conducted by geoscientists Achim Brauer, Peter Dulski and Jörg Negendank (emeritus Professor) from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Gerald Haug from the DFG-Leibniz Center for Surface Processes and Climate Studies at the University of Potsdam and the ETH in Zurich, and Daniel Sigman from Princeton University.

The proof of an extreme cooling within a short number of years 12,700 years ago was attained in sediments of the volcanic lake Meerfelder Maar in the Eifel region of Germany. This took place long before human-made changes in the atmosphere.

Up to now, it was assumed that the attenuation of the Gulf Stream alone was responsible for the strong cooling in Western Europe. 

The examined lake deposits show, however, that the atmospheric circulation, probably in connection with the spreading of sea-ice, most likely played a very important role. At the same time, these new results show that the climate system is still not well understood.

Journal reference:

1.  Brauer et al. An abrupt wind shift in western Europe at the onset of the Younger Dryas cold period. Nature Geoscience, 2008; 1 (8): 520 DOI: 10.1038/ngeo263

Adapted from materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Thanks to Jimmy Walter for this link




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