The Recurrence Time of Dansgaard–Oeschger Events and Limits on the Possible Periodic Component

Peter D. Ditlevsen The Niels Bohr Institute, Department of Geophysics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Mikkel S. Kristensen The Niels Bohr Institute, Department of Geophysics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Katrine K. Andersen The Niels Bohr Institute, Department of Geophysics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Abstract

By comparing the high-resolution isotopic records from the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) and the North Greenland Ice Core Project (NGRIP) ice cores, the common climate signal in the records has been approximately separated from local noise. From this, an objective criterion for defining Dansgaard–Oeschger (DO) events is achieved. The analysis identifies several additional short-lasting events, increasing the total number of DO events to 27 in the period 12–90 kyr before present (BP). The quasi-regular occurrence of the DO events could indicate a stochastic or coherent resonance mechanism governing their origin. From the distribution of waiting times, a statistical upper bound on the strength of a possible periodic forcing is obtained. This finding indicates that the climate shifts are purely noise driven with no underlying periodicity.

Corresponding author address: Peter D. Ditlevsen, The Niels Bohr Institute, Dept. of Geophysics, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen O, Denmark. Email: pditlev@gfy.ku.dk

Abstract

By comparing the high-resolution isotopic records from the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) and the North Greenland Ice Core Project (NGRIP) ice cores, the common climate signal in the records has been approximately separated from local noise. From this, an objective criterion for defining Dansgaard–Oeschger (DO) events is achieved. The analysis identifies several additional short-lasting events, increasing the total number of DO events to 27 in the period 12–90 kyr before present (BP). The quasi-regular occurrence of the DO events could indicate a stochastic or coherent resonance mechanism governing their origin. From the distribution of waiting times, a statistical upper bound on the strength of a possible periodic forcing is obtained. This finding indicates that the climate shifts are purely noise driven with no underlying periodicity.

Corresponding author address: Peter D. Ditlevsen, The Niels Bohr Institute, Dept. of Geophysics, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen O, Denmark. Email: pditlev@gfy.ku.dk

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