What is it about?

Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) events are abrupt atmospheric warming events in Greenland that occurred repeatedly during the last glacial period. Combining proxy records from an ice core and a sediment core, we reconstruct sea ice conditions in the Baffin Bay and the Labrador Sea during several D-O events between 34 and 42 thousand years ago. Our results reveal in detail that widespread sea ice decline was synchronous with the atmospheric warming of the D-O events, highlighting the importance of sea ice decline in amplifying abrupt high-latitude climate warming.We also find re-expansion of seasonal sea ice during the late phase of warm interstadial periods, which likely contributed to a feedback loop in the sub-polar North Atlantic driving the climate system back to cold stadial conditions.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show how sub-polar sea ice responded to the repeated atmospheric warmings occurred during the last glacial period over Greenland. The results obtained highlight a quantitative link between past Baffin Bay sea ice stability and glacial abrupt climate variability, which might be tested as a constraint for glacial coupled atmospheric-sea ice model simulations.

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This page is a summary of: Sea ice fluctuations in the Baffin Bay and the Labrador Sea during glacial abrupt climate changes, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2203468119.
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