Holocene Environmental Variability in the Arctic Gateway
Environmental changes in the region connecting the Arctic Ocean and the northern North Atlantic were studied for the last 9,000 years (9 ka) by a combination of proxy-based paleoceanographic reconstructions as well as transient and time-slice simulations with climate models. Today, the area is perennially ice-covered in the west and ice-free in the east. Results show that sea-ice conditions were highly variable on short timescales in the last 9 ka. However, sea-ice proxies reveal an overall eastward movement of the sea-ice margin, in line with a decreasing influence of warm Atlantic Water advected to the Arctic Ocean. These cooling trends were rapidly reversed 100 years ago and replaced by the general warming in the Arctic. Model results show a consistently high freshwater input to the Arctic Ocean during the last 7 ka. The signal is robust against the Holocene cooling trend, however sensitive towards the warming trend of the last century. These results may play a role in the observed Arctic changes.
KeywordsArctic Ocean Holocene Sea ice Atlantic Water River run-off Global warming
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