What is it about?

This study has two parts. First it provides a new paleoclimatic record of the last millennium from the central Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The record, based on pollen analysis from a lake sediment core was combined with others from across the circumpolar Arctic, to produce a new analysis of the space-time evolution of the Arctic climate over the past millennium.

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Why is it important?

Understanding the climate of the past millennium is an important component of climate change research, as it indicates the extent of natural variability of the climate. Although the Canadian Arctic is the largest tundra / polar desert in the world, it remains relatively understudied compared to other regions of the Arctic. Much of the work documenting the climate of this time period has been done with tree-ring records or annually dated archives, which may lose some of the longer-term trends, such as the neoglacial cooling or underestimate century-scale variability such as the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age. This study shows that records based on pollen can useful high resolution paleoclimate reconstructions, even in lakes dated by radiocarbon.


The new circumpolar Arctic reconstruction, while basically confirming previous attempts, nevertheless shows that future work needs to incorporate proxies that resolve longer-term variability.

Konrad Gajewski
University of Ottawa

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Environmental changes of the last 1000 years on Prince of Wales Island, Nunavut, Canada, Arctic Antarctic and Alpine Research, January 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/15230430.2019.1640527.
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