Last interglacial and early glacial ENSO

George J. Kukla, Amy C. Clement, Mark A. Cane, Joyce E. Gavin, Stephen E. Zebiak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Although the link between insolation and climate is commonly thought to be in the high northern latitudes in summer, our results show that the start of the last glaciation in marine isotope stage (MIS) 5d was associated with a change of insolation during the transitional seasons in the low latitudes. A simplified coupled ocean-atmosphere model shows that changes in the seasonal cycle of insolation could have altered El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variability so that there were almost twice as many warm ENSO events in the early glacial than in the last interglacial. This indicates that ice buildup in the cooled high latitudes could have been accelerated by a warmed tropical Pacific.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-31
Number of pages5
JournalQuaternary Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2002


  • ENSO
  • Equatorial Pacific
  • Glacial start
  • Insolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Last interglacial and early glacial ENSO'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this