Millennial to submillennial marine oscillations that are linked with the North Atlantic's Heinrich events and Dansgaard–Oeschger cycles have been reported recently from the Alboran Sea, revealing a close ocean-atmosphere coupling in the Mediterranean region. We present a high-resolution record of lithogenic fraction variability along IMAGES Core MD 95-2043 from the Alboran Sea that we use to infer fluctuations of fluvial and eolian inputs to the core site during periods of rapid climate change, between 28,000 and 48,000 cal yr B.P. Comparison with geochemical and pollen records from the same core enables end-member compositions to be determined and to document fluctuations of fluvial and eolian inputs on millennial and faster timescales. Our data document increases in northward Saharan dust transports during periods of strengthened atmospheric circulation in high northern latitudes. From this we derive two atmospheric scenarios which are linked with the intensity of meridional atmospheric pressure gradients in the North Atlantic region.