Articles | Volume 20, issue 1
Research article
11 Jan 2024
Research article |  | 11 Jan 2024

Equilibrium line altitudes of alpine glaciers in Alaska suggest Last Glacial Maximum summer temperature was 2–5 °C lower than during the pre-industrial

Caleb K. Walcott, Jason P. Briner, Joseph P. Tulenko, and Stuart M. Evans

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Cited articles

Abbott, M. B., Edwards, M. E., and Finney, B. P.: A 40,000-yr record of environmental change from Burial Lake in Northwest Alaska, Quaternary Res., 74, 156–165,, 2010. 
Anderson, L. S., Roe, G. H., and Anderson, R. S.: The effects of interannual climate variability on the moraine record, Geology, 42, 55–58,, 2014. 
Annan, J. D., Hargreaves, J. C., and Mauritsen, T.: A new global surface temperature reconstruction for the Last Glacial Maximum, Clim. Past, 18, 1883–1896,, 2022. 
Balascio, N. L., Kaufman, D. S., and Manley, W. F.: Equilibrium-line altitudes during the Last Glacial Maximum across the Brooks Range, Alaska, J. Quaternary Sci., 20, 821–838,, 2005a. 
Balascio, N. L., Kaufman, D. S., Briner, J. P., and Manley, W. F.: Late Pleistocene glacial geology of the Okpilak-Kongakut rivers region, northeastern Brooks Range, Alaska, Arc. Antarct. Alp. Res., 37, 416–424,[0416:LPGGOT]2.0.CO;2, 2005b. 
Short summary
Available data suggest that Alaska was not as cold as many of the high-latitude areas of the Northern Hemisphere during the Last Ice Age. These results come from isolated climate records, climate models, and data synthesis projects. We used the extents of mountain glaciers during the Last Ice Age and Little Ice Age to show precipitation gradients across Alaska and provide temperature data from across the whole state. Our findings support a relatively warm Alaska during the Last Ice Age.