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Regionally coherent Little Ice Age cooling in the Atlantic Warm Pool

January 1, 2009

We present 2 new decadal-resolution foraminiferal Mg/Ca-SST records covering the past 6-8 centuries from the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM). These records provide evidence for a Little Ice Age (LIA) cooling of 2??C, consistent with a published Mg/Ca record from Pigmy Basin. Comparison of these 3 records with existing SST proxy records from the GOM-Caribbean region show that the magnitude of LIA cooling in the Atlantic Warm Pool (AWP) was significantly larger than the mean hemispheric cooling of <1??C. We propose that a reduction in the intensity and spatial extent of the AWP during the LIA, combined with associated changes in atmospheric circulation may account for the regional SST patterns observed in the GOM-Caribbean region during the LIA. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.