Holocene Arctic warmer than today

“Chapter 15 of the Working Group 2 report in the IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report (AR4) deals with the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions. It draws heavily upon the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Report (2005) (ACIA, 2005) and, indeed, praises ACIA, 2005 in the following words: “[ACIA, 2005]… has substantially improved the understanding of the impacts of climate change in the Arctic, is a benchmark for regional impact assessments, and may become the basis for a sustainable management plan for the Arctic.”

[C]hapter 2 [of the report,] “Arctic Climate: Past and Present” and, specifically, Section 2.7 “Arctic climate variability prior to 100 years BP” (pages 46 to 54) … documents the climate changes in the region from 2 million years ago up to the recent past.

The information on the Arctic climate during the Holocene (the past approx. 11,000 years to the present), some of which is summarised below, provides an interesting contrast with the alarmist views of today:

* climatic conditions were significantly warmer than today,

* marine mammals were present far north of their present day range,

* over most of Russia forests advanced to or near the Arctic coastline between 9 and 7 thousand years ago, and retreated to their present position by between 4 and 3 thousand years ago,

* during the period of maximum forest extension, the mean July temperature along the northern coastline of Russia may have been 2.5 to 7 deg C warmer than present,

* the period from 1550 to 1900 may have been the coldest period in the entire Holocene… The Little Ice Age (LIA), during which glaciers advanced on all continents, and

* Glaciers started to retreat around 1850 but between 1880 and 1890 there were glacier advances. In the early 20th century, glacier recession continued, with interruptions by some periods of advance. The most rapid glacial retreat took place between the 1920s and 1940s.

Those of your readers interested in exploring ACIA, 2005 in greater detail will find it at http://www.acia.uaf.edu/pages/scientific.html


George Lloyd
Sydney, Australia” Email to Benny Peiser, CCNet


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