Volume 554 Issue 7692, 15 February 2018

Volume 554 Issue 7692

The cover shows the Amundsen Sea, offshore of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. As Tyler Jones and his colleagues reveal in this issue, this region experienced a large change in year-to-year climate variability some 16,000 years ago. The Last Glacial Maximum saw ice cover vast areas of the Northern Hemisphere and this significantly influenced the climate of the Southern Hemisphere. The brightness and high altitude of the ice sheets altered the atmospheric pathways linking the tropics to West Antarctica by moving the location of tropical convection. Using water isotope data from a West Antarctic ice core, Jones and his colleagues traced the effects of this influence. They find that the interannual and decadal climate variability at high southern latitudes was almost twice as high during the Last Glacial Maximum as during the past 11,700 years of the warmer Holocene epoch. Through this they reveal the intimate climate linkages between the high latitudes, and the key role of the tropics as a climate mediator between the hemispheres. Cover image: Bradley R. Markle

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