Holocene glacier culminations in the Western Alps and their hemispheric relevance

Holocene glacier culminations in the Western Alps and their hemispheric relevance

Abstract

The natural variability of Holocene climate defines the baseline to assess ongoing climate change. Greenland ice-core records indicate warming superimposed by abrupt climate oscillations in the early Holocene, followed by a general cooling trend throughout the middle and late Holocene that culminated during the Little Ice Age (LIA). Tropical precipitation changes correlate with these patterns throughout the Holocene. Here we use mountain glaciers in the European Alps to reconstruct the regional Holocene climate evolution and to test for a link between mid-latitude, North Atlantic, and tropical climate. Our precise 10Be chronology from Tsidjiore Nouve Glacier, western Swiss Alps, indicates a glacier culmination during the earliest Holocene ∼11.4 k.y. ago, likely related to the Preboreal Oscillation. Based on our data, no Holocene glacier advance of similar amplitude occurred until ∼3.8 k.y. ago, when the glacier reached LIA limits. The 10Be ages between 500 and 170 yr correspond to the LIA, while the youngest 10Be ages overlap with the historically recorded post-LIA glacier positions. Integrating our data with existing records, we propose a hemispheric climate link between the Alps, North Atlantic temperature, and tropical precipitation patterns for the Holocene, supporting the concept of a pervasive climate driver. These findings from northern mid-latitudes are consistent with the hypothesis formulated for the tropics that the Earth’s thermal equator, responding to North Atlantic temperature changes, might have migrated southward throughout the Holocene, reaching the southern turning point toward the end of the LIA.

via Holocene glacier culminations in the Western Alps and their hemispheric relevance.

It is clear we live a world where the climate is controlled by large scale cycles and not SUV exhaust.

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About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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2 Responses to Holocene glacier culminations in the Western Alps and their hemispheric relevance

  1. murrayv says:

    Off topic – I just found this blog. Great stuff! You might be interested in some work I did independently Jan. 2011. Go to http://www.agwnot.blogspot.com and scroll down to Jan 23, 2011 “Chaotic Climate and the Next Ica Age”. My prediction is that we will have one more warm peak before descending into the next ice age. We are now heading for bottoms of the 60 and 180 year cycles about 2030-2035, but are still in the warming side of the ca 1000 yeasr cycle. Cheers, Murray

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