TITLE

Holocene thinning of the Greenland ice sheet

AUTHOR(S)
Vinther, B. M.; Buchardt, S. L.; Clausen, H. B.; Dahl-Jensen, D.; Johnsen, S. J.; Fisher, D. A.; Koerner, R. M.; Raynaud, D.; Lipenkov, V.; Andersen, K. K.; Blunier, T.; Rasmussen, S. O.; Steffensen, J. P.; Svensson, A. M.
PUB. DATE
September 2009
SOURCE
Nature;9/17/2009, Vol. 461 Issue 7262, p385
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
On entering an era of global warming, the stability of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) is an important concern, especially in the light of new evidence of rapidly changing flow and melt conditions at the GIS margins. Studying the response of the GIS to past climatic change may help to advance our understanding of GIS dynamics. The previous interpretation of evidence from stable isotopes (δ18O) in water from GIS ice cores was that Holocene climate variability on the GIS differed spatially and that a consistent Holocene climate optimum—the unusually warm period from about 9,000 to 6,000 years ago found in many northern-latitude palaeoclimate records—did not exist. Here we extract both the Greenland Holocene temperature history and the evolution of GIS surface elevation at four GIS locations. We achieve this by comparing δ18O from GIS ice cores with δ18O from ice cores from small marginal icecaps. Contrary to the earlier interpretation of δ18O evidence from ice cores, our new temperature history reveals a pronounced Holocene climatic optimum in Greenland coinciding with maximum thinning near the GIS margins. Our δ18O-based results are corroborated by the air content of ice cores, a proxy for surface elevation. State-of-the-art ice sheet models are generally found to be underestimating the extent and changes in GIS elevation and area; our findings may help to improve the ability of models to reproduce the GIS response to Holocene climate.
ACCESSION #
44217898

 

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