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Eemian interglacial reconstructed from a Greenland folded ice core

Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, M. R. Albert, A. Aldahan, N. Azuma, David Morten Balslev-Clausen, M. Baumgartner, A.-M. Berggren, M. Bigler, Thomas Binder, Thomas Blunier, J.C. Bourgeois, E.J. Brook, Susanne Lilja Buchardt, Christo Buizert, E. Capron, J. Chappellaz, J. Chung, Henrik Brink Clausen, Ivana Cvijanovic, S.M. Davies & 113 others Peter Ditlevsen, O. Eicher, H. Fischer, D. A. Fisher, L.G. Fleet, G. Gfeller, Vasileios Gkinis, S. Gogineni, K. Goto-Azuma, Aslak Grinsted, H. Gudlaugsdottir, Myriam Guillevic, S. B. Hansen, M. Hansson, M. Hirabayashi, S. Hong, S.D. Hur, P. Huybrechts, Christine Schøtt Hvidberg, Y. Iizuka, Theo Manuel Jenk, Sigfus Johann Johnsen, T.R. Jones, J. Jouzel, Nanna Bjørnholt Karlsson, K. Kawamura, K. Keegan, Ernesto Kettner, S. Kipfstuhl, Helle Astrid Kjær, M. Koutnik, T. Kuramoto, P. Köhler, T. Laepple, A. Landais, Peter Lang Langen, Lars Berg Larsen, D. Leuenberger, M. Leuenberger, C. Leuschen, J. Li, V. Lipenkov, P. Martinerie, O. J. Maselli, V. Masson-Delmotte, J. R. McConnell, H. Miller, O. Mini, A. Miyamoto, M. Montagnat-Rentier, R. Mulvaney, R. Muscheler, A.J. Orsi, J. Paden, Christian Panton, F. Pattyn, J.-R. Petit, K. Pol, Trevor James Popp, G. Possnert, F. Prié, M. Prokopiou, A. Quiquet, Sune Olander Rasmussen, D. Raynaud, J. Ren, Corentin Reutenauer, C. Ritz, T. Röckmann, J.L. Rosen, Mauro Rubino, O. Rybak, D. Samyn, C.J. Sapart, A. Schilt, Astrid Mariah Zelma Schmidt, J. Schwander, S. Schüpbach, Inger Kathrine Seierstad, J. P. Severinghaus, S. Sheldon, Sebastian Bjerregaard Simonsen, Jesper Sjolte, Anne Munck Solgaard, T. Sowers, Peter Sperlich, Hans Christian Steen-Larsen, K. Steffen, Jørgen Peder Steffensen, D. Steinhage, T.F. Stocker, Christopher Stowasser, A.S. Sturevik, W.T. Sturges, A. Sveinbjörnsdottir, Anders Svensson, J.-L. Tison, J. Uetake, Paul Travis Vallelonga, R.S.W. Van De Wal, G. Van Der Wel, B.H. Vaughn, Bo Møllesøe Vinther, E. Waddington, A. Wegner, I. Weikusat, J. W. C. White, F. Wilhelms, Mai Winstrup, E. Witrant, E.W. Wolff, C. Xiao, Jin Zheng

Efforts to extract a Greenland ice core with a complete record of the Eemian interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) have until now been unsuccessful. The response of the Greenland ice sheet to the warmer-than-present climate of the Eemian has thus remained unclear. Here we present the new North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling ('NEEM') ice core and show only a modest ice-sheet response to the strong warming in the early Eemian. We reconstructed the Eemian record from folded ice using globally homogeneous parameters known from dated Greenland and Antarctic ice-core records. On the basis of water stable isotopes, NEEM surface temperatures after the onset of the Eemian (126,000 years ago) peaked at 8 ± 4 degrees Celsius above the mean of the past millennium, followed by a gradual cooling that was probably driven by the decreasing summer insolation. Between 128,000 and 122,000 years ago, the thickness of the northwest Greenland ice sheet decreased by 400 ± 250 metres, reaching surface elevations 122,000 years ago of 130 ± 300 metres lower than the present. Extensive surface melt occurred at the NEEM site during the Eemian, a phenomenon witnessed when melt layers formed again at NEEM during the exceptional heat of July 2012. With additional warming, surface melt might become more common in the future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature
Volume493
Issue number7433
Pages (from-to)489-494
Number of pages6
ISSN0028-0836
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Jan 2013

ID: 45588906