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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  May 2009  /  Was the Russian Arctic warmer in the past?

Was the Russian Arctic warmer in the past?

Viv Jones and Nadia Solovieva examine lake core evidence

Was the Russian Arctic warmer in the past?

Dr Viv Jones and Dr Nadia Solovieva have just spent a week in the Russian arctic sampling lake sediment cores with colleagues from the University of Helskinki and the Komi Science Centre, Syktyvkar. A 36 hour train ride and 40 minutes in a helicopter took them to Lake Llet-ti in the frozen taiga, where they used the lake ice as a stable platform to take sediment cores. It is hoped that these will provide a palaeoclimatic record of the past 12,000 years for this currently forested area.

Viv and Nadia will also attend a Carbo-North project workshop in Potsdam from May 18th-20th.  They will be presenting chironomid results from PhD student Angela Self which suggest that parts of the Russian arctic were 3 deg C warmer than present over 12,000 years ago, when the climate was also more continental. This is in contrast to areas further west in Europe which experienced a pronounced cooling at this time, termed the younger Dryas. The early Holocene period was also slightly warmer than present and chironomid evidence suggests a deterioration in climate from about 6000 years ago. These results are significant because this area of the arctic is predicted to warm considerably in the next century. Understanding how warming occurred in the past will enable better predictions of the impacts of future warming.


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