Eemian interglacial reconstructed from a Greenland folded ice core

Dahl-Jensen, D.; Albert, M. R.; Aldahan, A.; Azuma, N.; Balslev-Clausen, D.; Baumgartner, Matthias; Berggren, A.-M.; Bigler, Matthias; Binder, T.; Blunier, T.; Bourgeois, J. C.; Brook, E. J.; Buchardt, S. L.; Buizert, C.; Capron, E.; Chappellaz, J.; Chung, J.; Clausen, H. B.; Cvijanovic, I.; Davies, S. M.; ... (2013). Eemian interglacial reconstructed from a Greenland folded ice core. Nature, 493(7433), pp. 489-494. Macmillan Journals Ltd. 10.1038/nature11789

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Efforts to extract a Greenland ice core with a complete record of the Eemian interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) have until now been unsuccessful. The response of the Greenland ice sheet to the warmer-than-present climate of the Eemian has thus remained unclear. Here we present the new North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling ('NEEM') ice core and show only a modest ice-sheet response to the strong warming in the early Eemian. We reconstructed the Eemian record from folded ice using globally homogeneous parameters known from dated Greenland and Antarctic ice-core records. On the basis of water stable isotopes, NEEM surface temperatures after the onset of the Eemian (126,000 years ago) peaked at 8±4 degrees Celsius above the mean of the past millennium, followed by a gradual cooling that was probably driven by the decreasing summer insolation. Between 128,000 and 122,000 years ago, the thickness of the northwest Greenland ice sheet decreased by 400±250 metres, reaching surface elevations 122,000 years ago of 130±300 metres lower than the present. Extensive surface melt occurred at the NEEM site during the Eemian, a phenomenon witnessed when melt layers formed again at NEEM during the exceptional heat of July 2012. With additional warming, surface melt might become more common in the future.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Baumgartner, Matthias; Bigler, Matthias; Eicher, Olivier; Fischer, Hubertus; Gfeller, Gideon and van der Wel, Lolke

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering

ISSN:

0028-0836

Publisher:

Macmillan Journals Ltd.

Language:

English

Submitter:

Andrea Stettler

Date Deposited:

25 Sep 2014 15:19

Last Modified:

24 Nov 2015 14:17

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/nature11789

PubMed ID:

23344358

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.58913

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/58913

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