Abrupt high-latitude climate events and decoupled seasonal trends during the Eemian

J. Sakari Salonen*, Karin F. Helmens, Jo Brendryen, Niina Kuosmanen, Minna Väliranta, Simon Goring, Mikko Korpela, Malin Kylander, Annemarie Philip, Anna Plikk, Hans Renssen, Miska Luoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Eemian (the Last Interglacial; ca. 129–116 thousand years ago) presents a testbed for assessing environmental responses and climate feedbacks under warmer-than-present boundary conditions. However, climate syntheses for the Eemian remain hampered by lack of data from the high-latitude land areas, masking the climate response and feedbacks in the Arctic. Here we present a high-resolution (sub-centennial) record of Eemian palaeoclimate from northern Finland, with multi-model reconstructions for July and January air temperature. In contrast with the mid-latitudes of Europe, our data show decoupled seasonal trends with falling July and rising January temperatures over the Eemian, due to orbital and oceanic forcings. This leads to an oceanic Late-Eemian climate, consistent with an earlier hypothesis of glacial inception in Europe. The interglacial is further intersected by two strong cooling and drying events. These abrupt events parallel shifts in marine proxy data, linked to disturbances in the North Atlantic oceanic circulation regime.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2851
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2018

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