Scientists Present New Artifact Evidence From An Arctic Island That Was 5-6°C Warmer 9000 Years Ago

Zhokhov Island in the Siberian High Arctic today exhibits inhospitably severe climate conditions, desolate tundra, and year-round pack ice in the surrounding sea. During the Early Holocene this same island was warm enough to host waterfowl species, birch trees, and year-round human residents who hunted polar bear and reindeer.

Image Source: Makeyev et al., 2003

I. Zhokhov Island Today: A Frozen Wasteland

The Siberian High Arctic’s Zhokhov Island is today covered in barren tundra. There are no trees or waterfowl.

Even though today’s CO2 concentrations have eclipsed 410 ppm, Zhokhov’s summer temperatures may reach just 1° or 2° C above freezing during its warmest month (July).

The island is surrounded by a sea of pack ice year-round, even in summer.

II. Zhokhov Island Early Holocene: Warm, Teeming With Life 

During the Early Holocene, Zhokhov Island was open-seas accessible.

It was teeming with waterfowl species that require 100+ days above freezing to breed successfully.  Non-freezing days may reach only 60 per year today (Makeyev et al., 2003).

Zhokhov Island’s terrain was overlain with birch trees.  The northern limit for birch is today 600 km farther south (Makeyev et al., 2003).

The island’s human inhabitants hunted polar bear and reindeer with blades made of raw materials (obsidian) gleaned from long-distance regional trading networks (Pitulko et al., 2019).

Zhokhov was at least 5 to 6°C warmer than today between 10,000 and 9000 years ago (Makeyev et al., 2003), or when CO2 concentrations hovered around 260 ppm.

III. The Early Holocene Arctic Was 4-7°C Warmer Than Today

Other recently published evidence also affirms that the climate of the Arctic was 4 to 7°C warmer than today about 9000 years ago (McFarlin et al., 2018, Mangerud and Svendsen, 2018).

Image Source: McFarlin et al., 2018

Image Source: Mangerud and Svendsen, 2018

IV. Modern Arctic Temperatures Haven’t Risen In 80 Years

In contrast, modern Arctic temperatures are no warmer today than they were in the 1930s.

Image Source: Hanhijärvi et al., 2013

Greenland was actually much warmer during the 1920s and 1930s than in recent decades.

Image Source: Box et al., 2009

None of this climatic evidence supports the popularized contention that the Arctic climate is significantly affected by either the atmospheric CO2 concentration or the rise in human emissions.

V. New Paper: Zhokhov Residents Were Long-Distance Traders

Artifacts recovered from an archaeological site on Zhokhov Island indicate that the human populations that lived there between about 8250 and 7800 years ago hunted polar bear in the winter and reindeer year-round.  They used dogsled technology and the blades they used were made of obsidian, or volcanic glass.

To procure obsidian, the authors suggest that the people of Zhokhov necessarily needed to travel extensively to trade with those on the Siberian mainland.  The travel distances for the Siberian trade were suggested to reach many hundreds of kilometers.

Pitulko et al., 2019

‘They came from the ends of the earth’:
long-distance exchange of obsidian in the
High Arctic during the Early Holocene

“Our data show that from c. 10 600 BP, Zhokhov Island was situated on the margin of the shrinking Arctic coast (Anisimov et al. 2009); this is supported by the presence of a large quantity of driftwood that washed ashore at the Zhokhov site. The environmental situation was relatively favourable for human occupation: the climate was warmer than today, and Zhokhov Island was covered by an Arctic tundra comprising sedge grass, shrubs and dwarf birch (Makeyev et al. 2003).”

Image Source: Pitulko et al., 2019
“The inhabitants of the Zhokhov site clearly visited today’s Arctic mainland during the Early Holocene. It is possible that some types of ‘trade hub’ existed in the Siberian Arctic for the exchange of valuable resources, such as stone raw materials, furs and other items.”
“The existence of the Ostrovnoye (or Ostrownoje) fair in the Malyy Anyuy River valley during the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries AD is noteworthy (von Wrangell 1840). This was a large-scale (by regional standards) event, in which both indigenous people and Russian merchants took part (Vakhtin et al. 2004). According to observations by Russian explorers (see von Wrangell 1840: 114–28), native inhabitants from across north-eastern Siberia gathered here for trade in the early spring, coming from as far as Srednekolymsk in the Kolyma River basin, Gizhiga on the northern shore of the Sea of Okhotsk and Markovo in the Anadyr River basin of Chukotka (Figure 7). The distance between these localities is approximately 450–600 km in a direct line, and the area covered between them is around 1 200 000 km2. Contemporaneous fairs of secondary importance existed near the mouth of the Kolyma River, and in the Anadyr River basin, near the modern town of Markovo (Vakhtin et al. 2004).”
“Although this analogy for long-distance travel and exchange is remote in time, it can be used, with certain reservations, for dog-sled technology, the environment and phenology have remained largely the same in the East Siberian Arctic regions for millennia, regardless of developments such as the introduction of metals, pottery or other innovations. Dog-sled technology undoubtedly played an important part in raw materials exchange networks, as evidenced by the presence of Chukotkan obsidian at the Zhokhov site. Although virtually no obsidian has been found in the Early Holocene archaeological record between the Zhokhov site and Chukotka, a connection between these two areas clearly existed by c. 8000 BP. This region in between them, however, is largely unexplored archaeologically (see Pitulko & Pavlova 2016).”

Image Source: Pitulko et al., 2019 and Makeyev et al., 2003


16 responses to “Scientists Present New Artifact Evidence From An Arctic Island That Was 5-6°C Warmer 9000 Years Ago”

  1. RAKooi

    The Holocene optimum was 7,500 to 9.000 years ago… of course it was warmer then.
    According to the Milankovitch Cycles,
    Earth’s Orbit has been pulling us away from the sun,
    Earth’s Axial Tilt has increasingly been away from the sun.
    we had experienced 8,000+ years of consistent falling temps as we return to Glaciation.
    That is Earth’s most Powerful NATURAL CYCLE. Much of the last 1,000 years is called the LITTLE ICE AGE.

    What Terminated THIS natural cycle in the late 1700’s thru today.
    Only the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect:
    Atmospheric Gasses interfering with escaping Earth Infra Red Thermal Radiation to the cold of space.
    With the last 50 years, where there has been a lessening of solar output…WE SHOULD BE COOLING, DRAMATICALLY !
    CO2 prove green house gas effect

    1. RickWill

      The following words extracted from the article give a clue to why the paper is nonsense:

      The scientists used incredibly precise spectroscopic instruments

      They are not measuring energy. They go through a convoluted series of calculations based on blackbody radiation for the full range of frequencies to derive something that does not exist.

      All matter exists in one magnetic field, one electric field and one gravitational field. EMR energy transfer is unidirectional at any point in space and time and always from higher potential (warmer) to lower potential (colder). There is no instrument that measures the EMR energy flux.

      If you have doubts about this then take some time to read this paper from NASA GISS:

  2. Phil Salmon

    Great find!
    The media jump on only the research suggesting (falsely) that we are now at the warmest in the Holocene. But are silent on such research showing that the Holocene optimum was warmer than now.
    That’s why it’s called the Holocene optimum.

    Again it becomes clear that politicised climate science is primarily directed at destroying, not creating, knowledge of the earth’s climate and especially its history.
    While Pierre and others through websites such as this are doing their best to preserve it. Keep up the good work!

  3. JC

    According to my calculations, the earth obliquity was at its peak (24,5044°) 8946 years ago. At this maximum, the days are the longest and the summers the hottest.

  4. Phil Salmon

    RA Kooi

    What terminated this natural cycle?

    It has not been terminated in fact, only in fiction.
    The late Holocene cooling of 4-6 degrees has been partially reversed by brief upward fluctuations in temperature of a degree or so, such as the Minoan, Roman, Medieval and now the modern warm periods. These are minor chaotic variations which are not significantly changing the downward late Holocene trend.

    Apparent increase in current warming compared for instance to the Medieval
    warm period (MWP) was not present in the data in the “pre-political” period of climate research before the 1990s. Since then, current warming has been inflated fraudulently relative to earlier and similar warming up-fluctuations.

    The current century is the coldest of the Holocene. And glacial inception will proceed on schedule.

    1. Yonason
  5. Phil Salmon

    Correction – the current millennium (not century) is the coldest of the Holocene.

  6. Don from OZ

    @ RAKooi
    ‘Atmospheric Gasses interfering with escaping Earth Infra Red Thermal Radiation to the cold of space.’
    1 These gasses ARE NOT ‘DIODIC’. They don’t only interfere with escaping Infra Red radiation.They also interfere with incoming Infra Red Radiation. The ‘interference’ is only involved in a very narrow band of the I R spectrum.

    2 The CO2 isn’t voluminous enough to form a ‘blanket’to interfere with all the rays of the radiation – there are more holes than there are molecules of blanket.

    3 Water vapor hasn’t been counted as a GHG but is vastly greater than CO2 and ‘interferes’ with heat to a far greater extent in both volume and bandwidth than CO2.

    So why the focus on one minor gas?

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