Last Interglacial Arctic warmth confirms polar amplification of climate change


Anderson, P., Bermike, O., Bigelow, N., Brigham-Grette, J., Duvall, M., Edwards, M.E., Frechette, B., Funder, S., Johnsen, S., Knies, J., Koerner, R., Lozhkin, A., Marshall, S., Matthiessen, J., Macdonald, G., Miller, G., Montoya, M., Muhs, D., Otto-Bliesner, B., Overpeck, J., Reeh, N., Sejrup, H., Spielhagen, R., Turner, C. and Velichko, A. (2006) Last Interglacial Arctic warmth confirms polar amplification of climate change. Quaternary Science Reviews, 25, (13-14), 1383-1400. (doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2006.01.033).

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Description/Abstract

The warmest millennia of at least the past 250,000 years occurred during the Last Interglaciation, when global ice volumes were similar
to or smaller than today and systematic variations in Earth’s orbital parameters aligned to produce a strong positive summer insolation
anomaly throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The average insolation during the key summer months (M, J, J) was ca 11% above
present across the Northern Hemisphere between 130,000 and 127,000 years ago, with a slightly greater anomaly, 13%, over the Arctic.
Greater summer insolation, early penultimate deglaciation, and intensification of the North Atlantic Drift, combined to reduce Arctic
Ocean sea ice, allow expansion of boreal forest to the Arctic Ocean shore across vast regions, reduce permafrost, and melt almost all
glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere. Insolation, amplified by key boundary condition feedbacks, collectively produced Last Interglacial
summer temperature anomalies 4–5 1C above present over most Arctic lands, significantly above the average Northern Hemisphere
anomaly. The Last Interglaciation demonstrates the strength of positive feedbacks on Arctic warming and provides a potentially
conservative analogue for anticipated future greenhouse warming.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0277-3791 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Geography > Environmental Processes and Change
ePrint ID: 55280
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:38
Contact Email Address: M.E.Edwards@soton.ac.uk
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/55280

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