Turney, CSM, Jones, RT, Fogwill, CJ, Hatton, J, Williams, AN, Hogg, A, Thomas, ZA, Palmer, J, Mooney, S and Reimer, RW (2016) A 250-year periodicity in Southern Hemisphere westerly winds over the last 2600 years. Climate of the Past, 12. 189 -200. ISSN 1814-9324

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Southern Hemisphere westerly airflow has a significant influence on the ocean-atmosphere system of the mid-to high latitudes with potentially global climate implications. Unfortunately, historic observations only extend back to the late 19th century, limiting our understanding of multi-decadal to centennial change. Here we present a highly resolved (30-year) record of past westerly wind strength from a Falkland Islands peat sequence spanning the last 2600 years. Situated within the core latitude of Southern Hemisphere westerly airflow (the so-called furious fifties), we identify highly variable changes in exotic pollen and charcoal derived from South America which can be used to inform on past westerly air strength. We find a period of high charcoal content between 2000 and 1000 cal. years BP, associated with increased burning in Patagonia, most probably as a result of higher temperatures and stronger westerly airflow. Spectral analysis of the charcoal record identifies a pervasive ca. 250-year periodicity that is coherent with radiocarbon production rates, suggesting that solar variability has a modulating influence on Southern Hemisphere westerly airflow. Our results have important implications for understanding global climate change through the late Holocene.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Copernicus Publications at http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/cp-12-189-2016 - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2017 15:41
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2018 11:48
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/4040

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