An overview of late Holocene climate and environmental change inferred from Arctic lake sediment

Darrell S. Kaufman

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25 Scopus citations


The 14 papers in this Special Issue of the Journal of Paleolimnology report new records of Holocene climate and environmental change from Arctic lakes, with emphasis on the last 2000 years. The study sites span the high latitudes of North America and extend into northwestern Europe. The studies rely on multiple proxy indicators to reconstruct past climate, including: varve thicknesses, chironomid, diatom, and pollen assemblages, biogenic-silica and organic-matter content, oxygen-isotope ratios in diatoms, and the frequency of lake-ice-rafted aggregates. These proxies primarily document changes in past summer temperatures, the main control on physical and biological processes in lakes at high latitudes. The records will be integrated into a larger network of paleoclimate sites to investigate the spatial and temporal variability of climate change and to compare the paleoclimate inferences with the output of general circulation models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Paleolimnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This Special Issue stems from the ARCSS 2 kyr project, which was funded in 2005 by the Arctic System Sciences (ARCSS) Program of the US National Science Foundation as an outgrowth of the former PARCS (Paleoenvironmental Arctic Sciences) program. Because the project was based on a US-led initiative, most study sites are located in the North American Arctic. The papers in this Special Issue include contributions by investigators and funding agencies outside of the US. As such, this compendium contributes to the new international IGP-PAGES initiative on Arctic climate during the last two millennia ( arctic2k). Arctic2k was launched in March 2008 to generate and synthesize high-resolution paleoclimate data to assess the timing and variability of the Arctic climate change during this period.

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements The 14 papers in this volume benefited from the generous input of 41 peer reviewers. Their dedication to the review process and their insights into limnological records of climate change improved the presentation and guided the interpretation of results. I am grateful to the authors, all of whom worked so diligently. I thank Mark Brenner for handling the editorial duties for the papers that I co-authored and for input on this Introduction, and Thomas Whitmore and Yarrow Axford for their suggestions. Bruce Bauer and David Anderson at the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology provided support for the data archive. Research and project coordination for this volume were funded primarily by the Arctic System Science Program (ARCSS) of the US National Science Foundation, with assistance from the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS).

Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Arctic lakes
  • Holocene climate change
  • Proxy climate records

Continental Scientific Drilling Facility tags

  • ICE
  • AK


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