Articles | Volume 19, issue 11
Research article
15 Nov 2023
Research article |  | 15 Nov 2023

Moss kill dates and modeled summer temperature track episodic snowline lowering and ice cap expansion in Arctic Canada through the Common Era

Gifford H. Miller, Simon L. Pendleton, Alexandra Jahn, Yafang Zhong, John T. Andrews, Scott J. Lehman, Jason P. Briner, Jonathan H. Raberg, Helga Bueltmann, Martha Raynolds, Áslaug Geirsdóttir, and John R. Southon

Data sets

Radiocarbon dates and their probability density distributions for moss samples killed by expanding ice caps on northern Baffin Island, NU, Canada, 2005-2019 Simon Pendleton and Gifford Miller

Past2k: Transient simulation of the climate of the last 2000 years Ilana Stern

Station Results - Historical Data Government of Canada

Short summary
Receding Arctic ice caps reveal moss killed by earlier ice expansions; 186 moss kill dates from 71 ice caps cluster at 250–450, 850–1000 and 1240–1500 CE and continued expanding 1500–1880 CE, as recorded by regions of sparse vegetation cover, when ice caps covered > 11 000 km2 but < 100 km2 at present. The 1880 CE state approached conditions expected during the start of an ice age; climate models suggest this was only reversed by anthropogenic alterations to the planetary energy balance.