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A millennial-scale record of Arctic Ocean sea ice variability and the demise of the Ellesmere Island ice shelves

England, J.H.; Lakeman, T.R.; Lemmen, D.S.; Bednarski, J.M.; Stewart, T.G.; Evans, D.J.A.

A millennial-scale record of Arctic Ocean sea ice variability and the demise of the Ellesmere Island ice shelves Thumbnail


Authors

J.H. England

T.R. Lakeman

D.S. Lemmen

J.M. Bednarski

T.G. Stewart



Abstract

Sea-ice ice shelves, at the apex of North America (>80N), constitute the oldest sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere. We document the establishment and subsequent stability of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, and multiyear landfast sea ice in adjacent fiords, using 69 radiocarbon dates obtained on Holocene driftwood deposited prior to coastal blockage. These dates (47 of which are new) record a hiatus in driftwood deposition beginning 5500 cal yr BP, marking the inception of widespread multiyear landfast sea ice across northern Ellesmere Island. This chronology, together with historical observations of ice shelf breakup (1950 to present), provides the only millennial-scale record of Arctic Ocean sea ice variability to which the past three decades of satellite surveillance can be compared. Removal of the remaining ice shelves would be unprecedented in the last 5500 years. This highlights the impact of ongoing 20th and 21st century climate warming that continues to break up the remaining ice shelves and soon may cause historically ice-filled fiords nearby to open seasonally.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2008
Deposit Date May 21, 2010
Publicly Available Date May 25, 2010
Journal Geophysical Research Letters
Print ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 35
DOI https://doi.org/10.1029/2008gl034470
Keywords Ice shelves, Sea ice, Arctic Ocean.
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1521619

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Copyright Statement
© 2008 American Geophysical Union. England, J. H. and Lakeman, T. R. and Lemmen, D. S. and Bednarski, J. M. and Stewart, T. G. and Evans, D. J. A.,(2008) A millennial-scale record of Arctic Ocean sea ice variability and the demise of the Ellesmere Island ice shelves, Geophysical research letters, 35, L19502, 10.1029/2008GL034470. To view the published open abstract, go to http://dx.doi.org and enter the DOI 10.1029/2008GL034470






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