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Southwest African climate independent of Atlantic sea surface temperatures during the Younger Dryas

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Lydie M. Dupont*
Geosciences, University of Bremen, P.O. Box 330440, D-28334 Bremen, Germany
Jung-Hyun Kim
Geosciences, University of Bremen, P.O. Box 330440, D-28334 Bremen, Germany
Ralph R. Schneider
Geosciences, University of Bremen, P.O. Box 330440, D-28334 Bremen, Germany
Ning Shi
Palynology and Quaternary Sciences, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
*Corresponding author.E-mail (L.M. Dupont).


To investigate land–sea interactions during deglaciation, we compared proxies for continental (pollen percentages and accumulation rates) and marine conditions (dinoflagellate cyst percentages and alkenone-derived sea surface temperatures). The proxies were from published data from an AMS-radiocarbon-dated sedimentary record of core GeoB 1023-5 encompassing the past 21,000 years. The site is located at ca. 2000 m water depth just north of the Walvis Ridge and in the vicinity of the Cunene River mouth. We infer that the parallelism between increasing sea surface temperatures and a southward shift of the savanna occurred only during the earliest part of the deglaciation. After the Antarctic Cold Reversal, southeast Atlantic sea surface temperatures no longer influenced the vegetation development in the Kalahari. Stronger trade winds during the Antarctic Cold Reversal and the Younger Dryas period probably caused increased upwelling off the coast of Angola. A southward shift of the Atlantic anti-cyclone could have resulted in both stronger trade winds and reduced impact of the Westerlies on the climate of southwestern Africa.

Research Article
University of Washington

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