|Modern studies serve as a reference for studies of past environments, and also as a calibration for the reconstructions of past environments. A critical part of the sythesis process, studies of the modern environment establish the fact that Western Beringia and Eastern Beringia have different climates, vegetation, and fauna. Paleoenvironmental studies of the region suggest that these differences have existed since the last glacial maximum (21,000 years ago).
Climate: Gridded and station temperature
data; 500 mb heights and sea level pressure; NCAR/NCEP
Vegetation: A compilation by Edwards and
others, and gridded
Pollen: Pollen percentages; vegetation
qualitative rules; vegetation reconstructed using quantitative methods
Beetle Fauna: Modern distributions of key
taxa and their
climate ranges. Modern calibration data for the Mutual Climatic
Ranges (MCR) reconstruction technique.