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Sea ice in the paleoclimate system: the challenge of reconstruction sea ice from proxies

Centre for Past Climate Studies, Department of Geoscience, together with the Arctic Research Centre are editors of a volume about the subject in the international journal "Quaternary Science Reviews.

Sea ice is an important component of the Earth system with complex dynamics imperfectly documented from direct observations, which are primarily limited to the last 40 years. Whereas large amplitude variations of sea ice have been recorded, especially in the Arctic, with a strikingly fast decrease in recent years partly attributed to the impact of anthropogenic climate changes, little is known about the natural variability of the sea ice cover at multi-decadal to multi-millennial time scales. Hence, there is a need to establish longer sea ice time series to document the full range of sea ice variations under natural forcings.

To do this, several approaches based on biogenic or geochemical proxies have been developed from marine, ice core and coastal records. The status of the sea ice proxies has been discussed by the Sea Ice Proxy (SIP) working group endorsed by PAGES during a first workshop held at GEOTOP in Montréal. Results from these discussions and subsequent work are addressed in a newly published volume of the international, highly-ranked journal “Quaternary Science Reviews”. The volume presents evaluations of the various sea-ice proxies as well as reconstructions of past sea ice cover of the Arctic and Antarctic regions during selected time intervals.

Professor Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz from the Centre for Past Climate Studies, Department of Geoscience and the Arctic Research Centre at Aarhus University is one of the editors of this volume.

Link to Quarterly Science Reviews, volume 79, November 2013: