Hernández, A., Cachão, M., Sousa, P., Trigo, R. M., Luterbacher, J., Vaquero, J. M., & Freitas, M. C. (2020). External forcing mechanisms controlling the North Atlantic coastal upwelling regime during the mid-Holocene. Geology. https://doi.org/10.1130/G48112.1
Nearshore upwelling along the eastern North Atlantic margin regulates regional marine ecosystem productivity and thus impacts blue economies. While most global circulation models show an increase in the intensity and duration of seasonal upwelling at high latitudes under future human-induced warmer conditions, projections for the North Atlantic are still ambiguous. Due to the low temporal resolution of coastal upwelling records, little is known about the impact of natural forcing mechanisms on upwelling variability. Here, we present a microfossil-based proxy record and modeling simulations for the warmest period of the Holocene (ca. 9–5 ka) to estimate the contribution of the natural variability in North Atlantic upwelling via atmospheric and oceanic dynamics. We found that more frequent high-pressure conditions in the eastern North Atlantic associated with solar activity and orbital parameters triggered upwelling variations at multidecadal and millennial time scales, respectively. Our new findings offer insights into the role of external forcing mechanisms in upwelling changes before the Anthropocene, which must be considered when producing future projections of midlatitude upwelling activity.