Wind‐Driven Evolution of the North Pacific Subpolar Gyre Over the Last Deglaciation

Gray, William R., Wills, Robert C. J., Rae, James W. B., Burke, Andrea, Ivanovic, Ruza F., Roberts, William, Ferreira, David and Valdes, Paul J. (2020) Wind‐Driven Evolution of the North Pacific Subpolar Gyre Over the Last Deglaciation. Geophysical Research Letters, 47 (6). e2019GL086328. ISSN 0094-8276

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1029/2019gl086328

Abstract

North Pacific atmospheric and oceanic circulations are key missing pieces in our understanding of the reorganization of the global climate system since the Last Glacial Maximum. Here, using a basin‐wide compilation of planktic foraminiferal δ18O, we show that the North Pacific subpolar gyre extended ~3° further south during the Last Glacial Maximum, consistent with sea surface temperature and productivity proxy data. Climate models indicate that the expansion of the subpolar gyre was associated with a substantial gyre strengthening, and that these gyre circulation changes were driven by a southward shift of the midlatitude westerlies and increased wind stress from the polar easterlies. Using single‐forcing model runs, we show that these atmospheric circulation changes are a nonlinear response to ice sheet topography/albedo and CO2. Our reconstruction indicates that the gyre boundary (and thus westerly winds) began to migrate northward at ~16.5 ka, driving changes in ocean heat transport, biogeochemistry, and North American hydroclimate.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: F600 Geology
F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2020 15:52
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2020 16:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/42705

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