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Eemian interglacial reconstructed from a Greenland folded ice core

Dahl-Jensen, D.; Albert, M.R.; Aldahan, A.; Azuma, N.; Balslev-Clausen, D.; Baumgartner, M.; Berggren, A.-M.; Bigler, M.; 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.; Ditlevsen, P.; Eicher, O.; Fischer, H.; Fisher, D.A.; Fleet, L.G.; Gfeller, G.; Gkinis, V.; Gogineni, S.; Goto-Azuma, K.; Grinsted, A.; Gudlaugsdottir, H.; Guillevic, M.; Hansen, S.B.; Hansson, M.; Hirabayashi, M.; Hong, S.; Hur, S.D.; Huybrechts, P.; Hvidberg, C.S.; Iizuka, Y.; Jenk, T.; Johnsen, S.J.; Jones, T.R.; Jouzel, J.; Karlsson, N.B.; Kawamura, K.; Keegan, K.; Kettner, E.; Kipfstuhl, S.; Kjær, H.A.; Koutnik, M.; Kuramoto, T.; Köhler, P.; Laepple, T.; Landais, A.; Langen, P.L.; Larsen, L.B.; Leuenberger, D.; Leuenberger, M.; Leuschen, C.; Li, J.; Lipenkov, V.; Martinerie, P.; Maselli, O.J.; Masson-Delmotte, V.; McConnell, J.R.; Miller, H.; Mini, O.; Miyamoto, A.; Montagnat-Rentier, M.; Mulvaney, R.; Muscheler, R.; Orsi, A.J.; Paden, J.; Panton, C.; Pattyn, F.; Petit, J.-R.; Pol, K.; Popp, T.; Possnert, G.; Prié, F.; Prokopiou, M.; Quiquet, A.; Rasmussen, S.O.; Raynaud, D.; Ren, J.; Reutenauer, C.; Ritz, C.; Röckmann, T.; Rosen, J.L.; Rubino, M.; Rybak, O.; Samyn, D.; Sapart, C.J.; Schilt, A.; Schmidt, A.M.Z.; Schwander, J.; Schüpbach, S.; Seierstad, I.; Severinghaus, J.P.; Sheldon, S.; Simonsen, S.B.; Sjolte, J.; Solgaard, A.M.; Sowers, T.; Sperlich, P.; Steen-Larsen, H.C.; Steffen, K.; Steffensen, J.P.; Steinhage, D.; Stocker, T.F.; Stowasser, C.; Sturevik, A.S.; Sturges, W.T.; Sveinbjörnsdottir, A.; Svensson, A.; Tison, J.-L.; Uetake, J.; Vallelonga, P.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; van der Wel, G.; Vaughn, B.H.; Vinther, B.; Waddington, E.; Wegner, A.; Weikusat, I.; White, J.W.C.; Wilhelms, F.; Winstrup, M.; Witrant, E.; Wolff, E.W.; Xiao, C.; Zheng, J.. 2013 Eemian interglacial reconstructed from a Greenland folded ice core. Nature, 493 (7433). 489-494. 10.1038/nature11789

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Abstract/Summary

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: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1038/nature11789
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Chemistry and Past Climate
ISSN: 0028-0836
Date made live: 12 Mar 2013 11:39 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/500331

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