We present a reconstruction of Holocene sea-ice variability from sediment core GA306-GC3, from the Holsteinsborg Dyb off West Greenland, which provides an index of palaeoceanographic and palaeoenvironmental conditions within this climatically sensitive region during the last 6700 yr. The reconstructed sea-ice record, combined with previously published proxy data, suggests that relatively warm conditions with reduced sea-ice extent prior to 5000 cal. yr BP were associated with the Holocene Thermal Maximum. Subsequent cooling and extensive sea-ice cover between ca. 5000 and 4000 cal. yr BP was followed by even colder conditions and persistent sea-ice cover during the Neoglacial cooling phase, particularly after ca. 1500 cal. yr BP. There is a positive correlation between West Greenland sea-ice cover and solar activity over the past 5000 yr, but the correlation is much weaker prior to 5000 cal. yr BP. In addition, there is a strong link between West Greenland sea ice and changes in the abundance of arctic benthic foraminifera species, related to different water masses of the West Greenland Current during the entire interval, even prior to 5000 cal. yr BP. Our findings indicate that sea-ice variability off West Greenland was driven not only by solar activity, but also by ocean circulation (the strength of cold Polar water from the East Greenland Current and warm Atlantic water from the Irminger Current).
- Ocean circulation
- Sea-ice concentration
- Solar forcing
- Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate