Climatic Change

, Volume 49, Issue 1–2, pp 129–145 | Cite as

Variability of Sea-Ice Extent in Baffin Bay over the Last Millennium

  • Nancy S. Grumet
  • Cameron P. Wake
  • Paul A. Mayewski
  • Gregory A. Zielinski
  • Sallie I. Whitlow
  • Roy M. Koerner
  • David A. Fisher
  • James M. Woollett


Comparison of an ice core glaciochemical time-series developed from thePenny Ice Cap (PIC), Baffin Island and monthly sea-ice extent reveals astatisticallysignificant inverse relationship between changes in Baffin Bay spring sea-iceextent andPenny Ice Cap sea-salt concentrations for the period 1901–1990 AD.Empiricalorthogonal function analysis demonstrates the joint behavior between changesin PICsea-salt concentrations, sea-ice extent, and changes in North Atlanticatmosphericcirculation. Our results suggest that sea-salt concentrations in snowpreserved on thePIC reflect local to regional springtime sea-ice coverage. The PIC sea-saltrecord/sea-ice relationship is further supported by decadal and century scalecomparisonwith other paleoclimate records of eastern Arctic climate change over the last700 years. Our sea-salt record suggests that, while the turn of the century wascharacterized bygenerally milder sea-ice conditions in Baffin Bay, the last few decades ofsea-ice extentlie within Little Ice Age variability and correspond to instrumental recordsof lowertemperatures in the Eastern Canadian Arctic over the past three decades.


Climate Change Function Analysis Inverse Relationship Arctic Climate Paleoclimate Record 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alt, B. T., Koerner, R. M., Fisher, D. A., and Bourgeois J. C.: 1985, ‘Arctic Climate during the Franklin Era as Deduced from Ice Cores’, in The Franklin Era in Canadian Arctic History, 1945– 1859, Paper No. 131, National Museums of Canada, Ottawa.Google Scholar
  2. Bergthorsson, P.: 1969, ‘An Estimate of Drift Ice and Temperature in Iceland in 1000 Years’, Jokus 19, 94–101 in Lamb, H. H. (ed.), Climate: Past, Present, and Future, Vol. 2, Climatic History and the Future, Methuen, London, p. 835.Google Scholar
  3. Bjorgo, E., Johannessen, O. M., and Miles, M. W.: 1997, ‘Analysis of Merged SMMR-SSMI Time Series of Arctic and Antarctic Sea-Ice Parameters 1978–1995’, Geophys. Res. Lett. 24, 413–416.Google Scholar
  4. Buck, C. F., Mayewski, P. A., Spencer, M. J., Whitlow, S. I., Twickler, M. S., and Barrett, D.: 1992, ‘Determination of Major Ions in Snow and Ice Cores by Ion Chromatography’, J. Chromatogr. 594, 225–228. VARIABILITY OF SEA-ICE EXTENT IN BAFFIN BAY OVER THE LAST MILLENNIUM 143Google Scholar
  5. Burton, P.: 1988, The Arctic Grail: The Quest for the North West Passage and the North Pole, 1818– 1909, McClelland and Stewart, Toronto, p. 672.Google Scholar
  6. Catchpole, A. J. W.: 1992, ‘Hudson's Bay Company Ships’ Log-Books as Sources of Sea-Ice Data, 1751–1870’, in Bradley, R. S. and Jones, P. D. (eds.), Climate since AD 1500, Routledge, London, pp. 17–39.Google Scholar
  7. Cavalieri, D. J., Gloersen, P., Parkinson, C. L., Comiso, J. C., and Zwally, H. J.: 1997, ‘Observed Hemispheric Asymmetry in Global Sea-Ice Changes’, Science 278, 1104–1106.Google Scholar
  8. Chapman, W. L. and Walsh, J. E.: 1993, ‘Recent Variations of Sea-Ice and Air Temperature in High Latitudes’, Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc. 74, 33–47.Google Scholar
  9. D'Arrigo, R. and Jacoby, G. C.: 1992, ‘Dendroclimatic Evidence from Northern North America,’ in Bradley, R. S. and Jones, P. D. (eds.), Climate since AD 1500, Routledge, London, pp. 296–311.Google Scholar
  10. Davis, P. T.: 1985, ‘Neoglacial Moraines on Baffin Island,’ in Andrews, J. T. (ed.), Quaternary Environments: Eastern Canadian Arctic, Baffin Bay and Western Greenland, Allen and Unwin, Boston, pp. 682–718.Google Scholar
  11. Dickson, B.: 1997, ‘From the Labrador Sea to Global Change,’ Nature 386, 649–650.Google Scholar
  12. Fang, Z. and Wallace, J. M.: 1994, ‘Arctic Sea-Ice Variability on a Time-Scale of Weeks and its Relations to Atmospheric Forcing’, J. Climate 7, 1897–1914.Google Scholar
  13. Fisher, D. A. and Koerner, R. M.: 1994, ‘Signal and Noise in Four Ice-Core Records from the Agassiz Ice Cap, Ellesmere Island, Canada: Details of the Last Millennium for Stable Isotopes, Melt and Solid Conductivity’, Holocene 4, 113–120.Google Scholar
  14. Fisher, D., Koerner, R. M., Bourgeois, J., Zielinski, G., Wake, C., Hammer, C., Clausen, H., Gundestrup, N., Johnsen, S., Goto-Azuma, K., Hondoh, T., Blake, E., and Gerasimoff, M.: 1998, ‘Penny Ice Cap Cores, Baffin Island, Canada and the Wisconsin Foxe Dome Connection: Two States of Hudson Bay Ice Cover’, Science 279, 692–695.Google Scholar
  15. Gloersen, P. and Campbell, W. J.: 1991, ‘Recent Variations in Arctic and Antarctic Sea-Ice Covers’, Nature 352, 33–36.Google Scholar
  16. Grove, J. M.: 1988, The Little Ice Age, Methuen, London, p. 498.Google Scholar
  17. Grumet, N., Wake, C., and Zielinski, G.: 1998, ‘Preservation of Glaciochemical Time-Series in Snow and Ice from the Penny Ice Cap, Baffin Island’, Geophys. Res. Lett. 25, 357–360.Google Scholar
  18. Hansen, J. and Lebedeff, S.: 1987, ‘Global Trends of Measured Surface Air Temperature’, J. Geophys. Res. 92, 13345–13372.Google Scholar
  19. Hansen, J., Ruedy, R., and Sato, M.; 1996, ‘Global Surface Air Temperatures in 1995: Return to Pre-Pinatubo Level’, Geophys. Res. Lett. 23, 1665–1668.Google Scholar
  20. Hurrell, J. W.: 1995, ‘Decadal Trends in the North Atlantic Oscillation: Regional Temperatures and Precipitation’, Science 269, 676–679.Google Scholar
  21. Hurrell, J. W. and van Loon, H.: 1997, ‘Decadal Variations in Climate Associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation’, Clim. Change 36, 301–326.Google Scholar
  22. Jacoby, G. C. and D'Arrigo, R.: 1989, ‘Reconstructed Northern Hemisphere Annual Temperature since 1671 Based on High-Latitude Tree-Ring Data from North America’, Clim. Change 14, 39–59.Google Scholar
  23. Johannessen, O. M., Miles, M., and Bjorgo, E.: 1995, ‘The Arctic's Shrinking Sea-Ice’, Nature 376, 126–127.Google Scholar
  24. Kahl, J. D., Charlevois, D. J., Zaiseva, N. A., Schnell, R. C., and Serraze, M. C.: 1993, ‘Absence of Evidence for Greenhouse Warming over the Arctic Ocean in the Past 40 Years’, Nature 361, 335–337.Google Scholar
  25. Keen, R. A.: 1980, Temperature and Circulation Anomalies in the Eastern Canadian Arctic Summer 1946–76, Occasional Paper No. 34, INSTAAR, University of Colorado.Google Scholar
  26. Keene, W. C., Pszenny, A. P., Galloway, J. N., and Hawley, M. E.: 1986, ‘Sea-Salt Corrections and Interpretations of Constituent Ratios in Marine Precipitation’, J. Geophys. Res. 91, 6647–6658.Google Scholar
  27. Kelly, P. M.: 1979, An Arctic Sea-Ice Data Set, 1901–1956, World Data Center-A for Glaciology (Snow and Ice) Glaciological Data Report GD-56, pp. 101–106. 144 NANCY S. GRUMET ET AL.Google Scholar
  28. Kelly, P.M., Goodess, C. M., and Cherry, B. S. G.: 1987, ‘The Interpretation of the Icelandic Sea-Ice Record’, J. Geophys. Res. 92, 10,835–10,843.Google Scholar
  29. Koerner, R. M.: 1977, ‘Devon Island Ice Cap: Core Stratigraphy and Paleoclimate’, Science 196, 15–18.Google Scholar
  30. Koerner, R. M. and Fisher, D. A.: 1990, ‘A Record of Holocene Summer Climate from a Canadian High-Arctic Ice Core’, Nature 343, 630–631.Google Scholar
  31. Kreutz, K. J., Mayewski, P. A., Meeker, L. D., Twickler, M. S., Whitlow, S. I., and Pattalwala, I. I.: 1997, ‘Bipoloar Changes in Atmospheric Circulation during the Little Ice Age’, Science 277, 1294–1296.Google Scholar
  32. Lamb, H. H.: 1977, Climate History and the Future, Vol. 2, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, p. 433.Google Scholar
  33. Legrand, M. R. and Delmas, R.J.: 1988, ‘Formation of HCl in the Antarctic Atmosphere’, J. Geophys. Res. 93, 7153–7168.Google Scholar
  34. Malaurie, J., Vasari, Y., Hyvarinen, H., Delibrias, G., and Labeyrie, J.: 1972, ‘Preliminary Remarks on Holocene Paleoclimates in the Regions of Thule and Inglefield Land, above All since the Beginning of our Own Era in Climatic Changes in Arctic Areas during the Last Ten-Thousand Years’, in Proceedings of a Symposium on Climatic Change in Arctic Areas during the Last Ten-Thousand Years, Oulu: Oulun, Yliopisto, Acta Universitatis, Ouluensis, Finland, Series A, Scientiae Rerum Naturalium, No. 3, pp. 105–136.Google Scholar
  35. Manabe, S., Stouffer, R.J., Spelman, M.J., and Bryan, K.: 1991, ‘Transient Responses of a Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Model to Gradual Changes of Atmospheric CO2 Part I: Annual Mean Response’, J. Climate 4, 785–818.Google Scholar
  36. Mayewski, P. A., Lyons, W. B., Spencer, M. J., Twickler, M. S., Koci, B., Dansgaard, W., Davidson, C., and Honrath, R.: 1986, ‘Sulfate and Nitrate Concentrations from a South Greenland Ice Core’, Science 232, 975–977.Google Scholar
  37. Mayewski, P. A., Meeker, L. D., Morrison, M. C., Twickler, M. S., Whitlow, S. I., Ferland, K. K., Meese, D. A., Legrand, M. R., and Steffenson, J. P.: 1993, ‘Greenland Ice Core “Signal” Characteristics: An Expanded View of Climate Change’, J. Geophys. Res. 98, 12,839–12,847.Google Scholar
  38. Mayewski, P. A., Meeker, L. D., Whitlow, S. I., Twickler, M. S., Morrison, M. C., Bloomfield, P., Bond, G. C., Alley, R. B., Gow, A. J., Grootes, P. M., Meese, D. A., Ram, M., Taylor, K. C., and Wumkes, W.: 1994, ‘Changes in Atmospheric Circulation and Ocean Ice Cover over the North Atlantic during the Last 41,000 Years’, Science 263, 1747–1751.Google Scholar
  39. Mayewski, P. A., Spencer, M. J., Twickler, M. S., and Whitlow, S. I.: 1990, ‘A Glaciochemical Survey of the Summit Region, Greenland’, Ann. Glaciol. 14, 186–190.Google Scholar
  40. McGhee, R.: 1972, ‘Climatic Change and the Development of Canadian Arctic Cultural Traditions in Climatic Changes in Arctic Areas during the Last Ten-Thousand Years’, in Proceedings of a Symposium on Climatic Change in Arctic Areas during the Last Ten-Thousand Years, Oulu: Oulun, Yliopisto, Acta Universitatis, Ouluensis, Finland, Series A, Scientiae Rerum Naturalium, No. 3, pp. 39–60.Google Scholar
  41. Meeker, L. D., Mayewski, P. A., and Bloomfield, P.: 1995, ‘A New Approach to Glaciochemical Time Series Analysis’, in Delmas, R. J. (ed.), Ice Core Studies of Biogeochemical Cycles, NATO ASI Series Vol. 130, Springer-Verlag, pp. 383–400.Google Scholar
  42. Miller, G. H.: 1973, ‘Late Quaternary Glacial and Climatic History of Northern Cumberland Peninsula, Baffin Island, N.W.T., Canada’, Quat. Res. 3, 561–583.Google Scholar
  43. Mulvaney, R., Couslson, G. F. J., and Corr, H. F. J.: 1993, ‘The Fractionation of Sea-Salt and Acids during Transport across an Antarctic Ice Shelf’, Tellus 45B, 179–187.Google Scholar
  44. Murphy, J.M. and Mitchell, J. F. B.: 1995, ‘Transient Response of the Hadley Center Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Model to Increasing Carbon Dioxide Part II: Spatial and Temporal Structure of Response’, J. Climate 8, 57–80. VARIABILITY OF SEA-ICE EXTENT IN BAFFIN BAY OVER THE LAST MILLENNIUM 145Google Scholar
  45. Newell, J. P. L.: 1983, ‘Preliminary Analysis of Sea-Ice Conditions in the Labrador Sea during Nineteenth Century’, in Harrington, C. R. (ed.), Climatic Change in Canada 3, Syllogeus 49, pp. 108–129.Google Scholar
  46. O'Brien, S., Mayewski, P. A., Meeker, L. D., Meese, D. A., Twickler, M. S., and Whitlow, S. I.: 1995, ‘Holocene Climate as Reconstructed from a Greenland Ice Core’, Science 270, 1962–1964.Google Scholar
  47. Ogilvie, A. E. J.: 1991, ‘Climatic Changes in Iceland AD c. 865 to 1598’, Acta Archaeologica 61, 233–251.Google Scholar
  48. Ogilvie, A. E. J.: 1992, ‘Documentary Evidence for Changes in the Climate of Iceland, AD 1500 to 1800’, in Bradley, R. S. and Jones, P. D. (eds.), Climate since AD 1500, Routledge, London, pp. 92–117.Google Scholar
  49. Overpeck, J., Hughen, K., Hardy, D., Bradley, R., Case, R., Douglas, M., Finney, B., Gajewski, K., Jacoby, G., Jennings, A., Lamoureux, S., Lasca, A., MacDonald, G., Moore, J., Retelle, M., Smith, S., Wolfe, A., and Zielinski, G.: 1997, ‘Arctic Environmental Change of the Last Four Centuries’, Science 278, 1251–1256.Google Scholar
  50. Parkinson, C. L.: 1995, ‘Recent Sea-Ice Advances in Baffin Bay/Davis Strait and Retreats in the Bellingshausen Sea’, Ann. Glaciol. 21, 348–352.Google Scholar
  51. Parkinson, C. L., Comiso, J. C., Zwally, H. J., Cavalieri, D. J., Gloersen, P., and Campbell. W. J.: 1987, Arctic Sea-Ice, 1973–1976: Satellite Passive-Microwave Observations, NASA SP-489, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D.C., p. 296.Google Scholar
  52. Peixoto, J. P. and Oort, A. H.: 1992, Physics of Climate, American Institute of Physics, New York, p. 520.Google Scholar
  53. Ricker, W. E.: 1973, ‘Linear Regressions in Fishery Research’, J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 30, 409–434.Google Scholar
  54. Rogers, J. C. and van Loon, H.: 1979, ‘The Seesaw in Winter Temperatures between Greenland and Northern Europe Part II: Some Oceanic and Atmospheric Effects in Middle and High Latitudes’, Mon. Wea. Rev. 107, 509–519.Google Scholar
  55. Sy, A., Rhein, M., Lazier, J. R. N., Koltermann, K. P., Meincke, J., Putzka, A., and Bersch, M.: 1997, ‘Surprisingly Rapid Spreading of Newly Formed Intermediate Waters across the North Atlantic Ocean’, Nature 386, 675–679.Google Scholar
  56. Trenberth, K. E. and Paolino, D. A.: 1980, ‘The Northern Hemisphere Sea-Level Pressure Data Set: Trends, Errors and Discontinuities’, Mon. Wea. Rev. 108, 855–872.Google Scholar
  57. van Loon, H. and Rogers, J. C.: 1978, ‘The Seesaw in Winter Temperatures between Greenland and Northern Europe Part I: General Discussion’, Mon. Wea. Rev. 106, 296–310.Google Scholar
  58. Walsh, J. E.: 1978, A Data Set on Northern Hemisphere Sea-Ice Extent, 1953–1976, World Data Center-A for Glaciology (Snow and Ice) Glaciological Data Part 1, pp. 49–52.Google Scholar
  59. Walsh, J. E. and Johnson, C. M.: 1979, ‘An Analysis of Arctic Sea-Ice Fluctuations, 1953–7’, J. Phys. Oceanogr. 9, 580–591.Google Scholar
  60. Wang, J., Mysak, M. L., and Ingram, R. G.: 1994. ‘Interannual Variability of Sea-Ice Cover in Hudson Bay, Baffin Bay and the Labrador Sea’, Atmos.-Ocean 32, 421–447.Google Scholar
  61. Wilson, T. R. S.: 1975. ‘Salinity and the Major Elements of Sea-Water’, in Riley, J. P. and Skirrow, G. (eds.), Chemical Oceanography, Vol. 1, 2nd edn., Academic Orlando, FL, pp. 365–413.Google Scholar
  62. Woollett, J.: 1999, ‘Living in the Narrows: Subsistence Economy and Culture Change in Labrador Inuit Society during the Contact Period’, World Archaeology 30, 3, 370–387.Google Scholar
  63. Yang, Q. I., Mayewski, P. A., Linder, E., Whitlow, S. I., and Twickler, M. S.: 1996, ‘Chemical Species Spatial Distribution and Relationship to Elevation and Snow Accumulation Rate over the Greenland Ice Sheet’, J. Geophys. Res. 101, 18629–18637. (Received 7 May 1999; in revised form 28 June 2000)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy S. Grumet
    • 1
  • Cameron P. Wake
    • 1
  • Paul A. Mayewski
    • 1
  • Gregory A. Zielinski
    • 1
  • Sallie I. Whitlow
    • 1
  • Roy M. Koerner
    • 2
  • David A. Fisher
    • 2
  • James M. Woollett
    • 3
  1. 1.Climate Change Research Center, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and SpaceUniversity of New HampshireDurhamU.S.A
  2. 2.Geological Survey of CanadaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Peary MacMillian Arctic MuseumBowdoin CollegeBrunswickU.S.A

Personalised recommendations