Early Holocene Laurentide Ice Sheet Retreat Influenced Summer Atmospheric Circulation in Baffin Bay

Elizabeth K. Thomas, Allison A. Cluett, Michael P. Erb, Nicholas P. McKay, Jason P. Briner, Isla S. Castañeda, Megan C. Corcoran, Owen C. Cowling, Devon B. Gorbey, Kurt R. Lindberg, Karlee K. Prince, Jeffrey Salacup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Changes in ice-sheet size impact atmospheric circulation, a phenomenon documented by models but constrained by few paleoclimate records. We present sub-centennial-scale records of summer temperature and summer precipitation hydrogen isotope ratios (δ2H) spanning 12–7 ka from a lake on Baffin Island. In a transient model simulation, winds in this region were controlled by the relative strength of the high-pressure systems and associated anticyclonic circulation over the retreating Greenland and Laurentide ice sheets. The correlation between summer temperature and precipitation δ2H proxy records changed from negative to positive at 9.8 ka. This correlation structure indicates a shift from alternating local and remote moisture, governed by the two ice-sheet high-pressure systems, to only remote moisture after 9.8 ka, governed by the strong Greenland high-pressure system after the Laurentide Ice Sheet retreated. Such rapid atmospheric circulation changes may also occur in response to future, gradual ice-sheet retreat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2023GL103428
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 16 2023


  • Arctic
  • Early Holocene
  • atmospheric circulation
  • deglaciation
  • lipid biomarkers
  • precipitation isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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