Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series pp 618-620

Last Glacial Interstadials

  • Yusuke YokoyamaAffiliated withAtmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo

Definition

Relatively warm periods recorded in Greenland ice cores during the last glacial.

Last glacial interstadials are strongly related to ocean circulation changes resulting from partial collapsing of continental ice. Sea-level changes also occurred. Ice cores obtained from deep drilling in Greenland by international collaborative efforts have revealed a detailed history of paleoclimates. One of the important discoveries from the ice cores was the identification of abrupt shifts in climate, in particular during the last glacial. Shifts in Greenland surface-air temperature were abrupt changing from cold status to warm status by as much as 10–15°C in decadal time scales or less. This had been previously found in the interval between 20,000 and 75,000 years ago (e.g., Dansgaard et al., 1982; Johnsen et al., 1972, 1992). In the meantime, deep-sea cores were also analyzed and indicated similar millennial scale oscillations. There are two types of rapid climate change according ...

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