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Last Interglacial Arctic warmth confirms polar amplification of climate change

Last Interglacial Arctic warmth confirms polar amplification of climate change
Last Interglacial Arctic warmth confirms polar amplification of climate change
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.
0277-3791
1383-1400
Anderson, P.
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Bermike, O.
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Bigelow, N.
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Brigham-Grette, J.
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Duvall, M.
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Edwards, M.E.
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Frechette, B.
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Funder, S.
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Johnsen, S.
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Knies, J.
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Koerner, R.
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Lozhkin, A.
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Marshall, S.
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Matthiessen, J.
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Macdonald, G.
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Miller, G.
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Montoya, M.
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Muhs, D.
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Otto-Bliesner, B.
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Overpeck, J.
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Reeh, N.
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Sejrup, H.
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Spielhagen, R.
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Turner, C.
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Velichko, A.
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Anderson, P.
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Bermike, O.
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Bigelow, N.
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Brigham-Grette, J.
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Duvall, M.
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Edwards, M.E.
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Frechette, B.
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Funder, S.
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Johnsen, S.
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Knies, J.
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Koerner, R.
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Lozhkin, A.
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Marshall, S.
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Matthiessen, J.
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Macdonald, G.
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Miller, G.
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Montoya, M.
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Muhs, D.
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Otto-Bliesner, B.
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Overpeck, J.
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Reeh, N.
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Sejrup, H.
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Spielhagen, R.
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Turner, C.
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Velichko, A.
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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).

Record type: Article

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.

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Published date: July 2006

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 55280
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/55280
ISSN: 0277-3791
PURE UUID: 7a2ceb19-eca6-46b8-b9df-555b3bc0f4a8
ORCID for M.E. Edwards: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3490-6682

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Date deposited: 01 Aug 2008
Last modified: 18 Jul 2019 01:00

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Contributors

Author: P. Anderson
Author: O. Bermike
Author: N. Bigelow
Author: J. Brigham-Grette
Author: M. Duvall
Author: M.E. Edwards ORCID iD
Author: B. Frechette
Author: S. Funder
Author: S. Johnsen
Author: J. Knies
Author: R. Koerner
Author: A. Lozhkin
Author: S. Marshall
Author: J. Matthiessen
Author: G. Macdonald
Author: G. Miller
Author: M. Montoya
Author: D. Muhs
Author: B. Otto-Bliesner
Author: J. Overpeck
Author: N. Reeh
Author: H. Sejrup
Author: R. Spielhagen
Author: C. Turner
Author: A. Velichko

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