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A record of Holocene sea-ice variability off West Greenland and its potential forcing factors

Sha, Longbin, Jiang, Hui, Seidenkrantz, Marit-Solveig, Li, Dongling, Andresen, Camilla S., Knudsen, Karen Luise, Liu, Yanguang, Zhao, Meixun
Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology 2017 v.475 pp. 115-124
Retaria, cooling, ice, paleoecology, sediments, Arctic region, Greenland, Greenland Sea
We present a reconstruction of Holocene sea-ice variability from sediment core GA306-GC3, from the Holsteinsborg Dyb off West Greenland, which provides an index of palaeoceanographic and palaeoenvironmental conditions within this climatically sensitive region during the last 6700yr. The reconstructed sea-ice record, combined with previously published proxy data, suggests that relatively warm conditions with reduced sea-ice extent prior to 5000cal.yrBP were associated with the Holocene Thermal Maximum. Subsequent cooling and extensive sea-ice cover between ca. 5000 and 4000cal.yrBP was followed by even colder conditions and persistent sea-ice cover during the Neoglacial cooling phase, particularly after ca. 1500cal.yrBP. There is a positive correlation between West Greenland sea-ice cover and solar activity over the past 5000yr, but the correlation is much weaker prior to 5000cal.yrBP. In addition, there is a strong link between West Greenland sea ice and changes in the abundance of arctic benthic foraminifera species, related to different water masses of the West Greenland Current during the entire interval, even prior to 5000cal.yrBP. Our findings indicate that sea-ice variability off West Greenland was driven not only by solar activity, but also by ocean circulation (the strength of cold Polar water from the East Greenland Current and warm Atlantic water from the Irminger Current).