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Medieval warmth confirmed at the Norse Eastern Settlement in Greenland

G. Everett Lasher and Yarrow Axford
Medieval warmth confirmed at the Norse Eastern Settlement in Greenland
Geology (Boulder) (February 2019) 47 (3): 267-270


Recent work has documented glacier advances in West Greenland coincident with the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and warmth across much of northern Europe. The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) has been invoked to explain antiphasing of temperatures between these North Atlantic regions. Historical and model observations suggest negative correlation between the mode of NAO and both temperature and delta (super 18) O values of precipitation over much of Greenland. We test for a hypothesized positive NAO mode and associated cool conditions during the MCA in South Greenland within the Norse Eastern Settlement by reconstructing delta (super 18) O values of precipitation at subcentennial resolution over the past 3000 yr using aquatic insect subfossils preserved in lak sediments. More positive delta (super 18) O values are found between 900 and 1400 CE, indicating a period of warmth in South Greenland superimposed on late Holocene insolation-forced Neoglacial cooling, and thus not supporting a positive NAO anomaly during the MCA. Highly variable delta (super 18) O values record an unstable climate at the end of the MCA, preceding Norse abandonment of Greenland. The spatial pattern of paleoclimate in this region supports proposals that North Atlantic subpolar ocean currents modulated South Greenland's climate over the past 3000 yr, particularly during the MCA. Terrestrial climate in the Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay regions may be spatially heterogeneous on centennial time scales due in part to the influence of the subpolar gyre.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 47
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Medieval warmth confirmed at the Norse Eastern Settlement in Greenland
Affiliation: Northwestern University, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Evanston, IL, United States
Pages: 267-270
Published: 20190206
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 33
Accession Number: 2019-014776
Categories: Quaternary geologyGeochronology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2019096
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
N60°42'00" - N60°42'00", W45°25'00" - W45°25'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201910
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