Geo-Marine Letters

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 101–111 | Cite as

High-resolution IP25-based reconstruction of sea-ice variability in the western North Pacific and Bering Sea during the past 18,000 years

  • Marie Méheust
  • Ruediger Stein
  • Kirsten Fahl
  • Lars Max
  • Jan-Rainer Riethdorf


Due to its strong influence on heat and moisture exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere, sea ice is an essential component of the global climate system. In the context of its alarming decrease in terms of concentration, thickness and duration, understanding the processes controlling sea-ice variability and reconstructing paleo-sea-ice extent in polar regions have become of great interest for the scientific community. In this study, for the first time, IP25, a recently developed biomarker sea-ice proxy, was used for a high-resolution reconstruction of the sea-ice extent and its variability in the western North Pacific and western Bering Sea during the past 18,000 years. To identify mechanisms controlling the sea-ice variability, IP25 data were associated with published sea-surface temperature as well as diatom and biogenic opal data. The results indicate that a seasonal sea-ice cover existed during cold periods (Heinrich Stadial 1 and Younger Dryas), whereas during warmer intervals (Bølling-Allerød and Holocene) reduced sea ice or ice-free conditions prevailed in the study area. The variability in sea-ice extent seems to be linked to climate anomalies and sea-level changes controlling the oceanographic circulation between the subarctic Pacific and the Bering Sea, especially the Alaskan Stream injection though the Aleutian passes.


Younger Dryas Biogenic Opal Holocene Thermal Maximum Kamchatka Current Northern Hemisphere Summer Insolation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank two anonymous reviewers and the GML editors for numerous suggestions for improvement of the manuscript. Financial support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), BIPOMAC Project STE412/25, is gratefully acknowledged. We thank Ralf Tiedemann for supporting this study by providing material recovered in the framework of the KALMAR Project (SO201-2-KALMAR Leg 2), funded by the Federal German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). This publication is a contribution to the Research Programme PACES II, Topic 3 (The earth system from a polar perspective: Data, modelling and synthesis) of the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar und Marine Research (AWI).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest with third parties.

Supplementary material

367_2015_432_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (470 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 470 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie Méheust
    • 1
  • Ruediger Stein
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kirsten Fahl
    • 1
  • Lars Max
    • 1
  • Jan-Rainer Riethdorf
    • 3
  1. 1.Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine ResearchAlfred Wegener InstituteBremerhavenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Geosciences (FB5)University of BremenBremenGermany
  3. 3.Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR)KielGermany

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