Please join me in congratulating GRG collaborator Professor Yusuke Yokoyama on the publication of our new paper in the journal Nature
Yokoyama, Y., Esat, T. M., Thompson, W. G., Thomas, A. L., Webster, J. M., Miyairi, Y., Sawada, C., Aze, T., Matsuzaki, H., Okuno, J. i., Fallon, S., Braga, J.-C., Humblet, M., Iryu, Y., Potts, D. C., Fujita, K., Suzuki, A., and Kan, H., 2018, Rapid glaciation and a two-step sea level plunge into the Last Glacial Maximum: Nature. 10.1038/s41586-018-0335-4.
“Global sea levels around the time of the poorly understood Last Glacial Maximum (27,000 to 20,000 years ago) previously showed stable ice sheets for about 10,000 years before the ice slowly started to melt. New analysis of the first Great Barrier Reef samples covering the time 22,000 years ago to 19,000 years ago finally adds detail to that period, providing valuable insights for models of climate and ice sheet dynamics”. See the press release for more details https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-07/uot-gbr072218.php
Using fossil reef cores collected on Integrated Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 325, this paper provides the most comprehensive reconstruction of relative sea level changes during the Last Ice Age. Based on these data we can now divide the Last Glacial Maximum into two distinct periods:
- period A – 30,000 to 21,500 years ago, the sea level was relatively stable
- period B – 21,000 to 17,000 years ago, the sea level was unstable with large, rapid fluctuations
This has major implications for our understanding of global ice sheet dynamics through this period. This information should also help other research groups improve their models of future global climate change and ice sheet dynamics.
See also our recent companion IODP Exp. 325 paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience that deals with how the Great Barrier Reef responded to these sea level and associated environmental changes. You can read more about the reef paper here.
Bravo Yusuke and the team!