Evidence for ice-free summers in the late Miocene central Arctic Ocean
AuthorStein, Ruediger; Fahl, Kirsten; Schreck, Michael; Knorr, Gregor; Niessen, Frank; Forwick, Matthias; Gebhardt, Catalina; Jensen, Laura; Kaminski, Michael; Kopf, Achim; Matthiessen, Jens; Jokat, Wilfried; Lohmann, Gerrit
Although the permanently to seasonally ice-covered Arctic Ocean is a unique and sensitive component in the Earth’s climate system, the knowledge of its long-term climate history remains very limited due to the restricted number of pre-Quaternary sedimentary records. During Polarstern Expedition PS87/2014, we discovered multiple submarine landslides along Lomonosov Ridge. Removal of younger sediments from steep headwalls has led to exhumation of Miocene sediments close to the seaﬂoor. Here we document the presence of IP25 as a proxy for spring sea-ice cover and alkenone-based summer sea-surface temperatures 44 °C that support a seasonal sea-ice cover with an ice-free summer season being predominant during the late Miocene in the central Arctic Ocean. A comparison of our proxy data with Miocene climate simulations seems to favour either relatively high late Miocene atmospheric CO2 concentrations and/or a weak sensitivity of the model to simulate the magnitude of high-latitude warming in a warmer than modern climate.
Published version. Source at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11148