Valley Shannon G.

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Shannon G.

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  • Article
    Seawater cadmium in the Florida Straits over the Holocene and implications for Upper AMOC variability
    (American Geophysical Union, 2022-04-25) Valley, Shannon G. ; Lynch-Stieglitz, Jean ; Marchitto, Thomas M. ; Oppo, Delia W.
    Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) plays a central role in the global redistribution of heat and precipitation during both abrupt and longer-term climate shifts. Over the next century, AMOC is projected to weaken due to greenhouse gas warming, though projecting its future behavior is dependent on a better understanding of how AMOC changes are forced. Seeking to resolve an apparent contradiction of AMOC trends from paleorecords of the more recent past, we reconstruct seawater cadmium, a nutrient-like tracer, in the Florida Straits over the last ∼8,000 years, with emphasis on the last millennium. The gradual reduction in seawater Cd over the last 8,000 years could be due to a reduction in AMOC, consistent with cooling Northern Hemisphere temperatures and a southward shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. However, it is difficult to reconcile this finding with evidence for an increase in geostrophic flow through the Florida Straits over the same time period. We combine data from intermediate water depth sediment cores to extend this record into the Common Era at sufficient resolution to address the broad scale changes of this time period. There is a small decline in the Cd concentration in the Late Little Ice Age relative to the Medieval Climate Anomaly, but this change was much smaller than the changes observed over the Holocene and on the deglaciation. This suggests that any trend in the strength of AMOC over the last millennium must have been very subtle.