Glacier variations during the last 2000 years in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere: comparison with other climatic proxies

Solomina Olga 1, and Wiles Gregory 2
1 Institute of Geography, RAS, Moscow, Russian Federation
2 The College of Wooster, Wooster, USA

A strong argument for the reliability of glacier variations as climatic proxies is made by their uniform response (retreat) to contemporary warming. However in order to interpret the paleo-record in terms of climatic changes glacial chronologies need to be accurate and complimented by independent temperature or precipitation proxies. In this paper we compare regional glacier variations based on moraine, radiocarbon and tree-ring dating and lake and marine sediment studies with the regional climatic proxy series (Fig. 1). These comparisons allow us to identify the climatic factors triggering prominent advances and retreats and to analyze their coherence (Table 1) for several key regions of the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere during the last 2 ka.

Fig. 1.  Glacier proxy series in the Arctic and Subarctic. 1 - Dahl-Jensen et al, 1998; 2 - Geirsdottir et al., 2000; 3 – Svendsen, Mangerud, 1997;  4 - Humlum et al., 2005; 5 - Hiller et al., 2001; 6 - Shiyatov, 2003, 7 - Hantemirov, 1999 ; 8 - Lubinsky et al., 1999; 9 – Zeeberg and Forman, 2001; 10 – Kotlyakov et al., 2000; 11 – Solomina et al., 2007; 12 – Wiles et al., 2006, 2008.

Table 1. Dates of glacier advances (blue) and retreats (yellow) in the Arctic in comparison with other high resolution glacier variations chronologies

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