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  • Luoto, Tomi P.; Kivila, E. Henriikka; Kotrys, Bartosz; Plociennik, Mateusz; Rantala, Marttiina; Nevalainen, Liisa (2020)
    Independent Arctic records of temperature and precipitation from the same proxy archives are rare. Nevertheless, they are important for providing detailed information on long-term climate changes and temperature-precipitation relationships in the context of large-scale atmospheric dynamics. Here, we used chironomid and cladoceran fossil assemblages to reconstruct summer air-temperature and water-level changes, during the past 400 years, in a small lake located in Finnish Lapland. Temperatures remained persistently cold over the Little Ice Age (LIA), but increased in the 20th century. After a cooler phase in the 1970s, the climate rapidly warmed to the record-high temperatures of the most recent decades. The lake-level reconstruction suggested persistently wet conditions for the LIA, followed by a dry period between similar to 1910 and 1970 CE, when the lake apparently became almost dry. Since the 1980s, the lake level has returned to a similar position as during the IAA. The temperature development was consistent with earlier records, but a significant local feature was found in the lake-level reconstruction the LIA appears to have been continuously wet, without the generally depicted dry phase during the 18th and 19th centuries. Therefore, the results suggest local precipitation patterns and enforce the concept of spatially divergent LIA conditions.
  • Shala, Shyhrete; Helmens, Karin F.; Luoto, Tomi P.; Salonen, J. Sakari; Väliranta, Minna; Weckström, Jan (2017)
    Four biotic proxies (plant macrofossils, pollen, chironomids and diatoms) are employed to quantitatively reconstruct variations in mean July air temperatures (T-jul) at Lake Loitsana (northern Finland) during the Holocene. The aim is to evaluate the robustness and biases in these temperature reconstructions and to compare the timing of highest T-jul in the individual reconstructions. The reconstructed T-jul values are evaluated in relation to local-scale/site-specific processes associated with the Holocene lake development at Loitsana as these factors have been shown to significantly influence the fossil assemblages found in the Lake Loitsana sediments. While pollen-based temperatures follow the classical trend of gradually increasing early-Holocene T-jul with a mid-Holocene maximum, the aquatic/wetland assemblages reconstruct higher-than-present T-jul already during the early Holocene, that is, at the peak of summer insolation. The relatively low early-Holocene July temperatures recorded by the pollen are the result of site-specific factors possibly combined with a delayed response of the terrestrial ecosystem compared with the aquatic ecosystem. Our study shows that all reconstructions are influenced at least to some extent by local factors. This finding stresses the need to evaluate quantitatively reconstructed climate values against local lake development and highlights the benefit of using multi-proxy data in Holocene climate reconstructions.
  • Helmens, Karin F.; Katrantsiotis, Christos; Kuosmanen, Niina; Luoto, Tomi P.; Salonen, J. Sakari; Valiranta, Minna (2021)
    Few fossil-based environmental and climate records in northern Europe are dated to Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5a around 80 ka BP. We here present multiple environmental and climate proxies obtained from a lake sequence of MIS 5a age in the Sokli basin (northern Finland). Pollen/spores, plant macrofossils, NPPs (e.g. green algae), bryozoa, diatoms and chironomids allowed an exceptionally detailed reconstruction of aquatic and telmatic ecosystem successions related to the development of the Sokli Ice Lake and subsequent infilling of a relatively small and shallow lake confined to the Sokli basin. A regional vegetation development typical for the early half of an interglacial is recorded by the pollen, stomata and plant macrofossil data. Reconstructions of July temperatures based on pollen assemblages suffer from a large contribution of local pollen from the lake's littoral zone. Summer temperatures reaching present-day values, inferred for the upper part of the lake sequence, however, agree with the establishment of pine-dominated boreal forest indicated by the plant fossil data. Habitat preferences also influence the climate record based on chironomids. Nevertheless, the climate optima of the predominant intermediate- to warm-water chironomid taxa suggest July temperatures exceeding present-day values by up to several degrees, in line with climate inferences from a variety of aquatic and wetland plant indicator species. The disequilibrium between regional vegetation development and warm, insolation-forced summers is also reported for Early Holocene records from northern Fennoscandia. The MIS 5a sequence is the last remaining fossil-bearing deposit in the late Quaternary basin infill at Sokli to be studied using multi-proxy evidence. A unique detailed climate record for MIS 5 is now available for formerly glaciated northern Europe. Our studies indicate that interglacial conditions persisted into MIS 5a, in agreement with data for large parts of the European mainland, shortening the Last Glacial by some 50 ka to MIS 4-2.