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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 14, issue 1 | Copyright

Special issue: Climate of the past 2000 years: regional and trans-regional...

Clim. Past, 14, 101-116, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-14-101-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 25 Jan 2018

Research article | 25 Jan 2018

Climate variability in the subarctic area for the last 2 millennia

Marie Nicolle1, Maxime Debret1, Nicolas Massei1, Christophe Colin2, Anne deVernal3, Dmitry Divine4,5, Johannes P. Werner6, Anne Hormes7, Atte Korhola8, and Hans W. Linderholm9 Marie Nicolle et al.
  • 1Normandie Univ, UNIROUEN, UNICAEN, CNRS, M2C, 76000 Rouen, France
  • 2GEOPS, CNRS, University of Paris-Sud, 91405 Orsay CEDEX, France
  • 3Centre de recherche en géochimie et géodynamique (Geotop), Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
  • 4Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway
  • 5Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  • 6Bjerknes Center for Climate Research and Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • 7University of Gothenburg, Department of Earth Sciences, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 8Department of Environmental Sciences, Environmental Change Research Unit (ECRU), University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 65, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
  • 9Regional Climate Group, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, 40530 Gothenburg, Sweden

Abstract. To put recent climate change in perspective, it is necessary to extend the instrumental climate records with proxy data from paleoclimate archives. Arctic climate variability for the last 2 millennia has been investigated using statistical and signal analyses from three regionally averaged records from the North Atlantic, Siberia and Alaska based on many types of proxy data archived in the Arctic 2k database v1.1.1. In the North Atlantic and Alaska, the major climatic trend is characterized by long-term cooling interrupted by recent warming that started at the beginning of the 19th century. This cooling is visible in the Siberian region at two sites, warming at the others. The cooling of the Little Ice Age (LIA) was identified from the individual series, but it is characterized by wide-range spatial and temporal expression of climate variability, in contrary to the Medieval Climate Anomaly. The LIA started at the earliest by around AD1200 and ended at the latest in the middle of the 20th century. The widespread temporal coverage of the LIA did not show regional consistency or particular spatial distribution and did not show a relationship with archive or proxy type either. A focus on the last 2 centuries shows a recent warming characterized by a well-marked warming trend parallel with increasing greenhouse gas emissions. It also shows a multidecadal variability likely due to natural processes acting on the internal climate system on a regional scale. A ∼16–30-year cycle is found in Alaska and seems to be linked to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, whereas ∼20–30- and ∼50–90-year periodicities characterize the North Atlantic climate variability, likely in relation with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. These regional features are probably linked to the sea ice cover fluctuations through ice–temperature positive feedback.

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Arctic climate variability for the last 2 millennia has been investigated using statistical and signal analyses from North Atlantic, Siberia and Alaska regionally averaged records. A focus on the last 2 centuries shows a climate variability linked to anthropogenic forcing but also a multidecadal variability likely due to regional natural processes acting on the internal climate system. It is an important issue to understand multidecadal variabilities occurring in the instrumental data.
Arctic climate variability for the last 2 millennia has been investigated using statistical and...
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