International Geologiical Congress - Oslo 2008

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AAA-10 Arctic palaeoclimate and its extremes

 

Abrupt changes in the heat flux into the Arctic Ocean reflected in late glacial-Holocene marine climate records from the Norwegian- Barents sea-Svalbard margins

 

Morten Hald, University of Tromsø (Norway)
Katrine Husum, University of Tromsø (Norway)
Lindsay Wilson, University of Tromsø (Norway)
Kari-Lise Rørvik, University of Tromsø (Norway)
Juho Junttila, University of Tromsø (Norway)
 

 

Climate modelling experiments predict a global warming of about 3 oC during the next century and that warming of the high northern latitudes may be as much as twice the global mean depending on the future emissions of greenhouse gases. To improve the predictions of future climates, particularly on regional scales, a better understanding of the natural climate changes based on records extending back beyond the instrumental records is needed. This study contributes to this goal by investigating the Late Glacial and Holocene climate changes in the northern North Atlantic. Influx of Atlantic Water to this area contributes to the present mild climate of north-western Europe because large amounts of heat are released into the atmosphere during winter time when this water cools before sinking to contribute to the North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW). This circulation pattern is part of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC). Based on detailed studies of paleoclimatic proxy records extracted from marine sediment cores reveal that influx of Atlantic Water and the THC have varied significantly on timescales from 10-103 years since the last glacial maximum (LGM) to the present. In this study we will present new results from LGM of the Vestfjorden Ice Stream, the deglaciation of the southern Barents Sea and the Vest Spitsbergen margin, and the Holocene climatic evolution of the Norwegian- Barents Sea- Svalbard margins.

 

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