A spatio-temporal reconstruction of sea-surface temperatures in the North Atlantic during Dansgaard-Oeschger events 5–8
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Here we establish a spatio-temporal evolution of the sea-surface temperatures in the North Atlantic over Dansgaard Oeschger (DO) events 5–8 (c. 30–40 ka) using the proxy surrogate reconstruction method. Proxy data suggest a large variability in North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures during the DO-events of the last glacial period. However, proxy data availability is limited and cannot provide a full spatial picture of the oceanic changes. Therefore, we combine fully coupled, general circulation model simulations with planktic foraminifera based sea-surface temperature reconstructions to obtain a broader spatial picture of the ocean state during DO-events 5–8. The resulting spatial sea-surface temperature patterns agree over a number of different general circulation models and simulations. We find that sea-surface temperature variability over the DO-events is characterized by colder conditions in the subpolar North Atlantic during stadials than during interstadials, and the variability is linked to changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning circulation, and in the sea-ice cover. Forced simulations are needed to capture the strength of the temperature variability and to reconstruct the variability in other climatic records not directly linked to the sea-surface temperature reconstructions. Our results are robust to uncertainties in the age models of the proxy data, the number of available temperature reconstructions, and over a range of climate models.