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Holocene paleoclimate data from the Arctic: testing models of global climate change

Holocene paleoclimate data from the Arctic: testing models of global climate change
Holocene paleoclimate data from the Arctic: testing models of global climate change
To evaluate the spatial variability of Arctic climate change during the present interglacial, CAPE Project Members compiled well-dated terrestrial, marine, and ice-core paleoenvironmental records spanning the past 10-12 thousand years (ka). Six tundra biomes of increasing summer temperature requirements were defined based on regionally coherent pollen assemblages. Using a rule-based approach, pollen spectra were converted to tundra, forest/tundra, or forest biomes ranked by their average growing season requirements. Marine sea-surface reconstructions were based on proxy data following a similar rule-based approach. From these data-based reconstructions, departures in summer temperatures from modern normals were calculated in 1 ka time slices through the Holocene. To test predictive models, data-based summer temperature reconstructions were compared with general circulation model (GCM) simulations for 10 ka and 6 ka ago. Paleodata and model results both show that warming occurred earlier across Beringia and Asia relative to lands adjacent to the North Atlantic, and that Late Holocene cooling was most apparent in the North Atlantic region. However, the GCM over-predicts the magnitude of Mid-Holocene warming over northern Asia and underestimates the intensification of the North Atlantic drift in the early Holocene. Strong spatial variability in environmental response during the Holocene, despite symmetric (insolation) forcing, suggests that any future changes, whether caused by anthropogenic or natural factors, are unlikely to result in a uniform change across the Arctic, adding additional complexity to forecasts of global impacts.
0277-3791
1275-1287
Edwards, M.E
4b6a3389-f3a4-4933-b8fd-acdfef72200e
Cape Project Members 2001
Edwards, M.E
4b6a3389-f3a4-4933-b8fd-acdfef72200e

Edwards, M.E , Cape Project Members 2001 (2001) Holocene paleoclimate data from the Arctic: testing models of global climate change. Quaternary Science Reviews, 20 (12), 1275-1287. (doi:10.1016/S0277-3791(01)00010-5).

Record type: Article

Abstract

To evaluate the spatial variability of Arctic climate change during the present interglacial, CAPE Project Members compiled well-dated terrestrial, marine, and ice-core paleoenvironmental records spanning the past 10-12 thousand years (ka). Six tundra biomes of increasing summer temperature requirements were defined based on regionally coherent pollen assemblages. Using a rule-based approach, pollen spectra were converted to tundra, forest/tundra, or forest biomes ranked by their average growing season requirements. Marine sea-surface reconstructions were based on proxy data following a similar rule-based approach. From these data-based reconstructions, departures in summer temperatures from modern normals were calculated in 1 ka time slices through the Holocene. To test predictive models, data-based summer temperature reconstructions were compared with general circulation model (GCM) simulations for 10 ka and 6 ka ago. Paleodata and model results both show that warming occurred earlier across Beringia and Asia relative to lands adjacent to the North Atlantic, and that Late Holocene cooling was most apparent in the North Atlantic region. However, the GCM over-predicts the magnitude of Mid-Holocene warming over northern Asia and underestimates the intensification of the North Atlantic drift in the early Holocene. Strong spatial variability in environmental response during the Holocene, despite symmetric (insolation) forcing, suggests that any future changes, whether caused by anthropogenic or natural factors, are unlikely to result in a uniform change across the Arctic, adding additional complexity to forecasts of global impacts.

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More information

Published date: 12 June 2001

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 55304
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/55304
ISSN: 0277-3791
PURE UUID: 94df11ac-1f5a-4d1b-aa08-9ff31752f029
ORCID for M.E Edwards: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3490-6682

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 Aug 2008
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:45

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