Antarctic Temperature at Orbital Timescales Controlled by Local Summer Duration

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Antarctic Temperature at Orbital Timescales Controlled by Local Summer Duration

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dc.contributor.author Huybers, Peter John
dc.contributor.author Denton, George
dc.date.accessioned 2009-10-27T19:59:24Z
dc.date.issued 2008
dc.identifier.citation Huybers, Peter J., and George Denton. 2008. Antarctic temperature at orbital timescales controlled by local summer duration. Nature Geoscience 1: 787-792. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1752-0894 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3355830
dc.description.abstract During the late Pleistocene epoch, proxies for Southern Hemisphere climate from the Antarctic ice cores vary nearly in phase with Northern Hemisphere insolation intensity at the precession and obliquity timescales. This coherence has led to the suggestion that Northern Hemisphere insolation controls Antarctic climate. However, it is unclear what physical mechanisms would tie southern climate to northern insolation. Here we call on radiative equilibrium estimates to show that Antarctic climate could instead respond to changes in the duration of local summer. Simple radiative equilibrium dictates that warmer annual average atmospheric temperatures occur as a result of a longer summer, as opposed to a more intense one, because temperature is more sensitive to insolation when the atmosphere is cooler. Furthermore, we show that a single-column atmospheric model reproduces this radiative equilibrium effect when forced exclusively by local Antarctic insolation, generating temperature variations that are coherent and in phase with proxies of Antarctic atmospheric temperature and surface conditions. We conclude that the duration of Southern Hemisphere summer is more likely to control Antarctic climate than the intensity of Northern Hemisphere summer with which it (often misleadingly) covaries. In our view, near interhemispheric climate symmetry at the obliquity and precession timescales arises from a northern response to local summer intensity and a southern response to local summer duration. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Earth and Planetary Sciences en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Nature Publishing Group en_US
dc.relation.isversionof http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ngeo311 en_US
dc.relation.hasversion http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~phuybers/ en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.title Antarctic Temperature at Orbital Timescales Controlled by Local Summer Duration en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Version of Record en_US
dc.relation.journal Nature Geoscience en_US
dash.depositing.author Huybers, Peter John
dc.date.available 2009-10-27T19:59:24Z

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7218]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University

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