, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 247-260
Date: 13 Dec 2013

Holocene records of paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic changes in the western arctic

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Abstract

Understanding of past climate variability on millennial to decadal scales are of primary importance in order to assess modern processes and predict future climatic events. Past history of Arctic climate changes is currently receiving increasing attention due to the recent phenomena of rapid sea-ice reduction. In this paper, we thoroughly reviewed the Holocene history of spatiotemporal climatic changes in the western Arctic region in order to better understand recent rapid environmental changes occurring in the Pacific sector of the Arctic, and further to discuss critical issues and new perspectives on the western Arctic in terms of paleoclimate researches. Records of temporal and spatial variations in sea-ice extents as well as marine and terrestrial paleoclimatic proxies show a strong asynchronicity between the western and eastern Arctic throughout the Holocene. The reason for this apparent contradiction across the Arctic may be linked to freshwater discharges over the Arctic shelves and the inflow of the Pacific freshwater into the western Arctic Ocean in coupled with a complex interaction between atmospheric and sea-ice dynamics. Special emphasis is placed on a tentative linkage of the late Holocene paleoclimatic events between the Arctic regions and the northwestern Pacific margin, highlighting the notion that climatic events of the northern Pacific Ocean is closely linked to the global climate system through hydrological dynamics in the western Arctic Ocean.