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More Southern Hemisphere Evidence for Global Millennial-Scale Cycling of Climate

Reference
Kemp, J., Radke, L.C., Olley, J., Juggins, S. and De Deckker, P. 2012. Holocene lake salinity changes in the Wimmera, southeastern Australia, provide evidence for millennial-scale climate variability. Quaternary Research 77: 65-76.
Introducing their study, Kemp et al. (2012) write that "millennial-scale climate variability has been a major focus of Quaternary research for the last decade (Clark et al., 1999)," noting that "in the Northern Hemisphere, the pattern of change is now reasonably well understood," citing Mayewski et al. (2004) and Wanner et al. (2008). However, they say that "the Southern Hemisphere remains a problem because of the high spatial variability and low resolution of available records." Nevertheless, they indicate that much evidence for the phenomenon has emerged from Australia, citing the studies of Chivas et al. (1986), De Deckker et al. (1991), Chivas et al. (1993), Gell et al. (1994), Stanley and De Deckker (2002), Turney et al. (2004), Donders et al. (2007) and Gouramanis et al. (2010), as well as from the Southern Ocean, citing Charles et al. (1996), Ninnemann et al. (1999), Gingele et al. (2007) and Moros et al. (2009), while still other evidence comes from Antarctic ice cores (Masson et al., 2000; Masson-Delmotte et al., 2004; Marino et al., 2008; Gabrielli et al., 2010) and from glacial advances (Allen et al., 2010).

In an effort designed to either support or contest this growing body of evidence, Kemp et al. developed palaeosalinity records for groundwater-influenced lakes in the Murray Basin of Australia using "an ostracod-based, weighted-averaging transfer function, supplemented with evidence from Campylodiscus clypeus (diatom), charophyte oogonia, Coxiella striata (gastropod), Elphidium sp. (foraminifera), Daphniopsis sp. ephippia (Cladocera), and brine shrimp (Parartemia zietziana) fecal pellets, the δ18O of ostracods, and >130 µm quartz sand counts," together with a chronology based on optically-stimulated luminescence and calibrated radio-carbon ages. From those records, the five UK and Australian researchers determined that the Holocene in Australia "was more variable than previous studies have shown," noting that their work provided evidence for recurrent intervals of low salinity cold periods having an approximate spacing of 1400 ± 550 years, which periodicity they say is "indistinguishable from climatic instabilities with a period of ~1500 ± 500 years observed in glacial and interglacial records from around the world (Mayewski et al., 2004)," which colder periods have come to be known as Bond events, due to the pioneering work of Bond et al. (1997, 2001), who associated them with periods of reduced solar activity. In between these colder periods, of course, are warmer periods, the one that preceded the Current Warm Period being the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), which their data show to have peaked between AD 1040 and 1220, and of which they say "there is supporting evidence for the MWP from tree-ring (Cook et al., 2002) and speleothem (Williams et al., 2005) evidence in New Zealand."

In discussing their findings, Kemp et al. state that the lower salinity phases they identified likely represent "cooler intervals with more intense westerly circulation." In addition, they indicate that "evidence suggests that variations in solar output may have caused the position of the westerly flow to vary at centennial to millennial timescales in the late Holocene," citing the work of Varma et al. (2010). And they write that "this interpretation is consistent with climatic excursions during the Holocene recorded in South America (Lamy et al., 2001; Moreno, 2004; Kaiser et al., 2005; Moreno et al., 2009) and in glacial surges in New Zealand's South Island (Gellatly et al., 1988; Suggate, 1990), both linked to varying westerly influence (Fitzharris et al., 1992; Hooker and Fitzharris, 1999), and which are in good agreement with the records obtained here." Thus, the evidence continues to grow ever stronger for a solar-induced millennial-scale cycling of Earth's global climate that is totally independent of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

Additional References
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Bond, G., Kromer, B., Beer, J., Muscheler, R., Evans, M.N., Showers, W., Hoffmann, S., Lotti-Bond, R., Hajdas, I. and Bonani, G. 2001. Persistent solar influence on North Atlantic climate during the Holocene. Science 294: 2130-2136.

Bond, G., Showers, W., Chezebiet, M., Lotti, R., Almasi, P., deMenocal, P., Priore, P., Cullen, H., Hajdas, I. and Bonani, G. 1997. A pervasive millennial scale cycle in North-Atlantic Holocene and glacial climates. Science 278: 1257-1266.

Charles, C.D., Lynch-Stieglitz, J., Ninnemann, U.S. and Fairbanks, R.G. 1996. Climate connections between the hemispheres revealed by deep sea sediment core/ice core correlations. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 142: 19-27.

Chivas, A.R., De Deckker, P. and Shelley, J.M.G. 1986. Magnesium and strontium in non-marine ostracod shells as indicators of paleosalinity and paleotemperature. Hydrobiologia 143: 135-142.

Chivas, A.R., De Deckker, P., Cali, J.A., Chapman, A., Kiss, E. and Shelley, J.M.G. 1993. Coupled stable-isotope and trace-element measurements of lacustrine carbonates as paleoclimatic indicators. In: Swart, P.K., Lohmann, K.C., McKenzie, J.A. and Savin, S.M. (Eds.). Climate Change in Continental Isotopic Records. American Geophysical Union, Geophysical Monograph, pp. 113-121.

Clark, P.U., Webb, R.S. and Keigwin, L.D. 1999. Mechanisms of Global Climate Change at Millennial Time Scales. American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C.

Cook, E.R., Palmer, J.G. and D'Arrigo, R.D. 2002. Evidence for a 'Medieval Warm Period' in a 1,100 year tree-ring reconstruction of past austral summer temperatures in New Zealand. Geophysical Research Letters 29: 10.1029/2001GL014580.

De Deckker, P., Correge, T. and Head, J. 1991. Late Pleistocene record of cyclic eolian activity from tropical Australia suggesting the Younger Dryas is not an unusual climatic event. Geology 19: 602-605.

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Archived 13 June 2012