The circulation of the deep Atlantic Ocean during the height of the last ice age appears to have been quite different from today. We review observations implying that Atlantic meridional overturning circulation during the Last Glacial Maximum was neither extremely sluggish nor an enhanced version of present-day circulation. The distribution of the decay products of uranium in sediments is consistent with a residence time for deep waters in the Atlantic only slightly greater than today. However, evidence from multiple water-mass tracers supports a different distribution of deep-water properties, including density, which is dynamically linked to circulation.
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