Geochemical identification of a tephra layer found in two cores from the NE Atlantic Ocean and the SE Norwegian Sea, respectively, and dated to 127 ka BP has enabled us to obtain a precise correlation across the Iceland-Scotland Ridge at the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 6/5 transition. The direct distance between the two cores is only about 200 km. South of the Iceland-Scotland Ridge, sea surface temperatures rose abruptly at 130 ka BP at the onset of MIS 5e and at least 2-3000 years earlier than north of the ridge. Maximum sea surface temperatures south of the ridge occurred during this initial phase of MIS 5e, when temperatures in the Nordic Seas were still low. North of the ridge, the sea surface warmed rapidly at 127 ka BP. Correlations between the North Atlantic records and the Eemian of Northwest Europe tentatively indicate that the initial phase of MIS 5e correlates with the early part of the Eemian characterised by a warm, continental type of climate. The period after the warming of the Nordic seas corresponds to the slightly cooler and more oceanic middle Eemian interval in Europe. The sea surface temperatures fell gradually north of the ridge during the later part of MIS 5e and they were low during MIS 5d-5a. South of the ridge the temperatures remained relatively high. The data shows that there was no outflow of deep water from the Norwegian Sea during the later part of MIS 6. Outflow began at the MIS 6/5 transition simultaneous with the sea surface warming south of the ridge.
- Programområde 5: Natur og klima