(Circum-Arctic PaleoEnvironments)


PARCS (Paleoenvironmental Arctic Sciences)


The Last Interglacial in the Arctic:
An International Meeting 12,13 October 2002, Coastal Maine, USA

Driving Directions | Map of Phippsburg, Maine

With a consensus from all GCM 2xCO2 simulations that the Arctic is most likely to show global warming first, the apparent thinning of Arctic sea ice in recent decades, and melting in Greenland, there is renewed interest in Arctic warmth. The sensitivity of the Arctic can be addressed from a paleo-perspective by quantifying the difference between earlier warm episodes and the present. Recent research utilizing marine and lake sedimentary archives and ice cores provide new evidence of Arctic warmth during the last interglacial, the last time the Earth was substantially warmer than present. In addition, new GCM simulations provide model evidence of the Arctic’s sensitivity to naturally forced climate variability.

The most recent effort to summarize the Arctic during the last interglacial was coordinated by LIGA (dominantly the terrestrial records) in the early 1990s, which resulted in a dedicated issue of Quaternary Research. In the subsequent decade, substantial progress has been made on four fronts: 1) LIG records from Arctic lake and bog sediments, 2) LIG records from the Arctic Ocean, and improved records from the Nordic Seas, 3) New evidence about the Greenland Ice Sheet during the LIG, and 4) Advances by the climate modeling community in coupled GCMs and in the understanding of feedbacks within the Arctic associated with Arctic warmth.

CAPE (Circum-Arctic PaleoEnvironments) and PARCS (Paleoenvironmental Arctic Sciences) are sponsoring a small working group meeting to provide a forum for the international community to present evidence for environmental conditions during the peak of the last interglacial, with a focus on quantitative estimates of summer warmth and to compare paleo-data with model simulations for the circum-Arctic at the last interglacial (LIG). The LIG appears to have been substantially warmer in the Arctic than at any time during the Holocene. The meeting will address how much warmer the Arctic was in the LIG, and whether there are there thresholds in the ocean/atmosphere/cryosphere that are pertinent to future warming.

Conference Organizers:

Gifford Miller
University of Colorado
Boulder CO 80309-0450 USA
Svend Funder
Geological Museum, University of Copenhagen
DK-Ostervoldgade 5-7
Copenhagen K, DENMARK

Contact Info:
Larry Coats
University of Northern Arizona
Flagstaff, AZ, USA