Interhemispheric differences in the timing of pauses or reversals in the temperature rise at the end of the last ice age can help to clarify the mechanisms that influence glacial terminations. Our beryllium-10 (10Be) surface-exposure chronology for the moraines of the upper Rakaia valley of New Zealand's Southern Alps, combined with glaciological modeling, show that late-glacial temperature change in the atmosphere over the Southern Alps exhibited an Antarctic-like pattern. During the Antarctic Cold Reversal, the upper Rakaia glacier built two well-defined, closely-spaced moraines on Reischek knob at 13,900 ± 120 [1σ; ± 310 yrs when including a 2.1% production-rate (PR) uncertainty] and 13,140 ± 250 (±370) yrs ago, in positions consistent with mean annual temperature approximately 2 °C cooler than modern values. The formation of distinct, widely-spaced moraines at 12,140 ± 200 (±320) and 11,620 ± 160 (±290) yrs ago on Meins Knob, 2 km up-valley from the Reischek knob moraines, indicates that the glacier thinned by ∼250 m during Heinrich Stadial 0 (HS 0, coeval with the Younger Dryas 12,900 to 11,600 yrs ago). The glacier-inferred temperature rise in the upper Rakaia valley during HS 0 was about 1 °C. Because a similar pattern is documented by well-dated glacial geomorphologic records from the Andes of South America, the implication is that this late-glacial atmospheric climate signal extended from 79°S north to at least 36°S, and thus was a major feature of Southern Hemisphere paleoclimate during the last glacial termination.
Quaternary Science Reviews – Elsevier
Published: Aug 15, 2017
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