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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2020-38
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2020-38
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 06 Apr 2020

Submitted as: research article | 06 Apr 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Rapid waxing and waning of Beringian ice sheet reconcile glacial climate records from around North Pacific

Zhongshi Zhang1,2,3,4, Qing Yan4, Ran Zhang5, Florence Colleoni6, Gilles Ramstein7, Gaowen Dai1, Martin Jakobsson8,9, Matt O'Regan8,9, Stefan Liess10,1, Denis-Didier Rousseau11,12, Naiqing Wu13,14, Elizabeth J. Farmer15, Camille Contoux7, Chuncheng Guo2, Ning Tan13, and Zhengtang Guo13,14 Zhongshi Zhang et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Science, School of Environmental studies, China University of Geoscience, Wuhan, 430074, China
  • 2NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, 5007 Bergen, Norway
  • 3Center for Early Sapiens Behaviour, 5007 Bergen, Norway
  • 4Nansen-Zhu International Research Center, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100029, Beijing, China
  • 5Climate Change Research Center, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 6Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e Geofisica Sperimentale, OGS, 34010 Sgonico (TS), Italy
  • 7Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 8Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University, 10691, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 9Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, 10691, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 10Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108, USA
  • 11Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique (CNRS and Institute Pierre Simon Laplace, IPSL), Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris Sciences & Lettres (PSL) Research University, 75005 Paris, France
  • 12Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USA
  • 13Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 14College of Earth Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 15E. Farmer Science Editing and Writing, Bergen, Norway

Abstract. Throughout the Pleistocene the Earth has experienced pronounced glacial-interglacial cycles, which have been debated for decades. One concept widely held is that during most glacials only the Laurentide-Eurasian ice sheets across North America and Northwest Eurasia became expansive, while Northeast Siberia-Beringia remained ice-sheet-free. However, the recognition of glacial landforms and deposits on Northeast Siberia-Beringia and off the Siberian continental shelf is beginning to call into question this paradigm. Here, we combine climate and ice sheet modelling with well-dated paleoclimate records from the mid-to-high latitude North Pacific to demonstrate the episodic occurrences of an ice sheet across Northeast Siberia-Beringia. Our simulations first show that the paleoclimate records are irreconcilable with the established paradigm of Laurentide-Eurasia-only ice sheets, and then reveal that a Beringian ice sheet over Northeast Siberia-Beringia causes feedbacks between atmosphere and ocean, the result of which better explains these climate records from around the North Pacific during the past four glacial-interglacial cycles. Our simulations propose an alternative scenario for NH ice sheet evolution, which involves the rapid waxing and waning of the Beringian ice sheet alongside the growth of the Laurentide-Eurasian ice sheets. The new scenario settles the long-standing discrepancies between the direct glacial evidence and the climate evolution from around the mid-to-high latitude North Pacific. It depicts a high complexity in glacial climates and has important implications for our understanding of the dispersal of prehistoric humans through Beringia into North America.

Zhongshi Zhang et al.

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Latest update: 02 Jun 2020
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Short summary
Whether an ice sheet once grew over Northeast Siberia-Beringia has been debated for decades. By comparing climate modelling with paleoclimate and glacial records from around the North Pacific, this study shows that the Laurentide-Eurasia-only ice sheet configuration fails in explaining these records, while a scenario involving the ice sheet over Northeast Siberia-Beringia succeeds. It highlights the complexity in glacial climates and urges new investigations across Northeast Siberia-Beringia.
Whether an ice sheet once grew over Northeast Siberia-Beringia has been debated for decades. By...
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