New Study: Greenland Was ‘4–5 °C Warmer Than Today’ ~9000 Years Ago…When The Arctic Was Nearly Sea-Ice Free

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Scientists (Syring et al., 2020) find almost sea ice-free conditions pervaded a much warmer northern Greenland region during the Early Holocene.  Arctic sea ice extent has “continuously” grown for ~4800 years, with modern conditions a bit lower than the peak of the last few centuries.

Image Source: Syring et al., 2020

In a new paper (Syring et al., 2020), scientists rely on biomarker evidence – (a) the presence of warmth-demanding species Armeria scabra and Mytilus edulis, and (b) IP25, a proxy for the presence or absence of sea ice – to suggest not only were there much warmer (4 to 5°C) northern Greenland temperatures 10,000 to 8500 years ago, but effectively sea ice-free conditions pervaded the region during this time.

The sea ice in the region has been growing “continuously” for the last 4800 years, reaching its peak during the last millennium.

The authors also find decadal- and centennial-scale periodicities in solar activity have coincided with variability in Arctic sea ice (IP25) throughout the Holocene.

Image Source: Syring et al., 2020
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8 responses to “New Study: Greenland Was ‘4–5 °C Warmer Than Today’ ~9000 Years Ago…When The Arctic Was Nearly Sea-Ice Free”

  1. Chris Frey

    Dear Kenneth,

    in your headline you mentioned an ,almost ice free Arctic’ about 9000 years ago. But do you have to go back that far in Time?
    About 1000 years ago the Vikings crisscrossed the Arctic sea to settle in Greenland and even in Newfoundland, Canada. Could they have done so in a frozen Arctic Sea? My question: Hasn’t the Arctic been ice free just 1000 years ago, beside numerous times during the last 9000 years?

    1. Ron Clutz

      Chris, indeed just 150 years ago explorers reported conditions similar or less icy than today. Synopsis of published paper is here:
      https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2019/08/09/todays-arctic-ice-precedented-150-years-ago/

  2. Phil Salmon

    The German mathematician Emmy Noether created an important theorem derived
    from the principle of least action. It has important and widespread use in physics and cosmology. It also could be applied to climate change physics – for instance it could forbid the increase of atmospheric CO2 leading to elevated ocean and atmospheric temperatures at vast heat expenditure. A much more energy economical structural rearrangement is much more likely:

    https://ptolemy2.wordpress.com/2020/02/09/the-principle-of-least-action-calls-into-question-atmosphere-warming-by-co2/

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