El Niño-like Climate Teleconnections in New England During the Late Pleistocene

El Niño-like Climate Teleconnections in New England During the Late Pleistocene
Science v.288, pp. 1039-1042, 12 May 2000.

Tammy M. Rittenour
Department of Geosciences, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Julie Brigham-Grette
Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Michael E. Mann
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.

ABSTRACT:
A glacial varve chronology from New England spanning the 4000-year period from 17,500 to 13,500 calendar years before present was analyzed for evidence of climate variability during the late Pleistocene. The chronology shows a distinct interannual (3 to 5 years) band of enhanced variability suggestive of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) teleconnections into North America during the late Pleistocene, when the Laurentide ice sheet was near its maximum extent and climatic boundary conditions were different than those of today. This interannual variability largely disappears by the young end of the 4000-year chronology, with only the highest frequency components (roughly 3-year period) persisting. This record provides evidence of ENSO-like climate variability during near-peak glacial conditions.

Download the standardized varve data from this study from the WDC Paleo Archive .

To read or view the full study, please visit the Science website.
It was published in Science v.288, pp. 1039-1042, 12 May 2000.

Click for larger figure
Fig. 2 (left) Normal curves of varve thickness.
(A)Raw varve couplet thickness
(B) Natural log of varve thickness data
(C) Filtered and Standardized natural log

Fig. 3 (top right)Spectral Analysis

Fig. 4 (lower right) Evolutive Spectral Analysis
Click for larger figures

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
2000 June 28