Science 1 May 2009:
Vol. 324. no. 5927, pp. 622 - 625
High-Frequency Holocene Glacier Fluctuations in New Zealand Differ from the Northern Signature
Understanding the timings of interhemispheric climate changes during the Holocene, along with their causes, remains a major problem of climate science. Here, we present a high-resolution 10Be chronology of glacier fluctuations in New Zealand’s Southern Alps over the past 7000 years, including at least five events during the last millennium. The extents of glacier advances decreased from the middle to the late Holocene, in contrast with the Northern Hemisphere pattern. Several glacier advances occurred in New Zealand during classic northern warm periods. These findings point to the importance of regional driving and/or amplifying mechanisms. We suggest that atmospheric circulation changes in the southwest Pacific were one important factor in forcing high-frequency Holocene glacier fluctuations in New Zealand.1 Geochemistry, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), Palisades, NY 10964, USA.
2 Department of Earth Sciences and Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA.
3 Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 95064, USA.
4 CEREGE (Centre Européen de Recherche et d’Enseignement des Géosciences de l’Environnement), 13545 Aix-en-Provence, Cedex 4, France.
5 GNS Science, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand.
6 Department of Geology, University of Oslo, 0316 Oslo, Norway.
7 Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington 6140, New Zealand.
8 Alpine and Polar Processes Consultancy, Lake Hawea, Otago 9382, New Zealand.
9 Institut für Geologie, Universität Bern, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland.