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A global environmental crisis 42,000 years ago

Cooper, Alan ; Turney, Chris S.M. ; Palmer, Jonathan ; Hogg, Alan ; McGlone, Matt ; Wilmshurst, Janet ; Lorrey, Andrew M. ; Heaton, Timothy J. ; Russell, James M. and McCracken, Ken , et al. (2021) In Science 371(6531). p.811-818
Abstract

Geological archives record multiple reversals of Earth’s magnetic poles, but the global impacts of these events, if any, remain unclear. Uncertain radiocarbon calibration has limited investigation of the potential effects of the last major magnetic inversion, known as the Laschamps Excursion [41 to 42 thousand years ago (ka)]. We use ancient New Zealand kauri trees (Agathis australis) to develop a detailed record of atmospheric radiocarbon levels across the Laschamps Excursion. We precisely characterize the geomagnetic reversal and perform global chemistry-climate modeling and detailed radiocarbon dating of paleoenvironmental records to investigate impacts. We find that geomagnetic field minima ~42 ka, in combination with Grand Solar... (More)

Geological archives record multiple reversals of Earth’s magnetic poles, but the global impacts of these events, if any, remain unclear. Uncertain radiocarbon calibration has limited investigation of the potential effects of the last major magnetic inversion, known as the Laschamps Excursion [41 to 42 thousand years ago (ka)]. We use ancient New Zealand kauri trees (Agathis australis) to develop a detailed record of atmospheric radiocarbon levels across the Laschamps Excursion. We precisely characterize the geomagnetic reversal and perform global chemistry-climate modeling and detailed radiocarbon dating of paleoenvironmental records to investigate impacts. We find that geomagnetic field minima ~42 ka, in combination with Grand Solar Minima, caused substantial changes in atmospheric ozone concentration and circulation, driving synchronous global climate shifts that caused major environmental changes, extinction events, and transformations in the archaeological record.

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@article{51c2cde4-9ea2-445c-a6bf-fddb10ae2346,
  abstract     = {<p>Geological archives record multiple reversals of Earth’s magnetic poles, but the global impacts of these events, if any, remain unclear. Uncertain radiocarbon calibration has limited investigation of the potential effects of the last major magnetic inversion, known as the Laschamps Excursion [41 to 42 thousand years ago (ka)]. We use ancient New Zealand kauri trees (Agathis australis) to develop a detailed record of atmospheric radiocarbon levels across the Laschamps Excursion. We precisely characterize the geomagnetic reversal and perform global chemistry-climate modeling and detailed radiocarbon dating of paleoenvironmental records to investigate impacts. We find that geomagnetic field minima ~42 ka, in combination with Grand Solar Minima, caused substantial changes in atmospheric ozone concentration and circulation, driving synchronous global climate shifts that caused major environmental changes, extinction events, and transformations in the archaeological record.</p>},
  author       = {Cooper, Alan and Turney, Chris S.M. and Palmer, Jonathan and Hogg, Alan and McGlone, Matt and Wilmshurst, Janet and Lorrey, Andrew M. and Heaton, Timothy J. and Russell, James M. and McCracken, Ken and Anet, Julien G. and Rozanov, Eugene and Friedel, Marina and Suter, Ivo and Peter, Thomas and Muscheler, Raimund and Adolphi, Florian and Dosseto, Anthony and Tyler Faith, J. and Fenwick, Pavla and Fogwill, Christopher J. and Hughen, Konrad and Lipson, Mathew and Liu, Jiabo and Nowaczyk, Norbert and Rainsley, Eleanor and Ramsey, Christopher Bronk and Sebastianelli, Paolo and Souilmi, Yassine and Stevenson, Janelle and Thomas, Zoë and Tobler, Raymond and Zech, Roland},
  issn         = {0036-8075},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6531},
  pages        = {811--818},
  publisher    = {American Association for the Advancement of Science},
  series       = {Science},
  title        = {A global environmental crisis 42,000 years ago},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abb8677},
  doi          = {10.1126/science.abb8677},
  volume       = {371},
  year         = {2021},
}