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Climate of the Past




The Mid-Brunhes Transition (MBT) began ∼ 430 ka with an increase in the amplitude of the 100 kyr climate cycles of the past 800 000 years. The MBT has been identified in ice-core records, which indicate interglaciations became warmer with higher atmospheric CO2 levels after the MBT, and benthic oxygen isotope (δ18O) records, which suggest that post-MBT interglaciations had higher sea levels and warmer temperatures than pre-MBT interglaciations. It remains unclear, however, whether the MBT was a globally synchronous phenomenon that included other components of the climate system. Here, we further characterize changes in the climate system across the MBT through statistical analyses of ice-core and δ18O records as well as sea-surface temperature, benthic carbon isotope, and dust accumulation records. Our results demonstrate that the MBT was a global event with a significant increase in climate variance in most components of the climate system assessed here. However, our results indicate that the onset of high-amplitude variability in temperature, atmospheric CO2, and sea level at ∼430 ka was preceded by changes in the carbon cycle, ice sheets, and monsoon strength during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 14 and MIS 13.


Climate of the Past is an open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.