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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 17 Jul 2018

Research article | 17 Jul 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

120,000 year record of sea ice in the North Atlantic

Niccolò Maffezzoli1, Paul Vallelonga1, Ross Edwards2,3, Alfonso Saiz-Lopez4, Clara Turetta5,6, Helle Astrid Kjær1, Carlo Barbante5,6, Bo Vinther1, and Andrea Spolaor5,6 Niccolò Maffezzoli et al.
  • 1Centre for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, Copenhagen Ø 2100, Denmark
  • 2Physics and Astronomy, Curtin University of Technology, Kent St, Bentley, WA 6102, Perth, Australia
  • 3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UW-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
  • 4Department of Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate, Institute of Physical Chemistry Rocasolano, CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  • 5Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Via Torino 155, 30170 Venice Mestre, Italy
  • 6Institute for the Dynamics of Environmental Processes, IDPA-CNR, Via Torino 155, 30170 Venice Mestre, Italy

Abstract. Although it has been demonstrated that the speed and magnitude of recent Arctic sea ice decline is unprecedented for the past 1,450 years, few records are available to provide a paleoclimate context for Arctic sea ice extent. Here we present a 120kyr record of bromine enrichment from the RECAP ice core, coastal East Greenland, and reconstruct past sea ice conditions in the North Atlantic as far north as the entrance of the Arctic Ocean (50–85°N). Bromine enrichment has been previously employed to reconstruct first-year sea ice (FYSI) in the Canadian Arctic over the last glacial cycle. We find that during the last deglaciation, the transition from multi-year sea ice (MYSI) to FYSI started at ∼17.6kyr, synchronous with sea ice reductions observed in the eastern Nordic seas (Müller and Stein, 2014; Hoff et al., 2016) and with the increase of North Atlantic ocean temperature (Dokken and Jansen, 1999). FYSI reached its maximum extent at 12.4–11.8kyr, after which open-water conditions started to dominate, as supported by sea ice records from the eastern Nordic seas and the North Icelandic shelf. Our results show that over the last 120,000 years, sea ice extent was greatest during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 2 and MIS4, with decreased levels during MIS3 and the onset of the last glacial period (late-MIS5). Sea ice extent during the last 10kyr (Holocene/MIS1) has been less than at any time in the last 120kyr.

Niccolò Maffezzoli et al.
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Niccolò Maffezzoli et al.
Niccolò Maffezzoli et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
This study provides the first ice core-based history of sea ice in the North Atlantic Ocean, reaching 120,000 years back in time. This record was obtained from bromine and sodium measurements in the RECAP ice core, drilled in East Greenland. We found that, during the last deglaciation, sea ice started to melt ~ 17,600 years ago. Over the 120,000 years of the last glacial cycle, sea ice extent was maximum during MIS2 and MIS4, while minimum sea ice extent has been existing for the Holocene.
This study provides the first ice core-based history of sea ice in the North Atlantic Ocean,...