The five interglacials before the Mid-Brunhes Event (MBE) [c.430 thousand years (ka) ago] are generally considered to be globally cooler than those post-MBE. Inhomogeneities exist regionally, however, which suggest that the Arctic was warmer than present during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 15a. Using the first speleothem record for the High Arctic, we investigate the climatic response of northeast Greenland between c.588 and c.549 ka ago. Our results indicate an enhanced warmth of at least +3.5°C relative to the present, leading to permafrost thaw and increased precipitation. We find that 18O of precipitation was at least 3 higher than today and recognize two local cooling events (c.571 and c.594 ka ago) thought to be caused by freshwater forcing. Our results are important for improving understanding of the regional climatic response leading up to the MBE and specifically provide insights into the climatic response of a warmer Arctic.
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PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article