Geographical extremes in the glacial history of northern Eurasia: post-QUEEN considerations
AbstractThis paper summarizes the principal results produced by the European Science Foundation’s programme, Quaternary Environment of the Eurasian North (QUEEN). These results concern the distribution of late Quaternary glaciers of different ages across northern Eurasia. The pattern of glaciation is compared with the west–east climatic gradient of the continent. Of particular significance is the coincidence of the Late Weichselian ice margin with the modern 30°C difference between the July and January mean air temperatures. The difference between west and east in the annual amplitude of air temperature did not decrease during the Pleniglacial. The asymmetry of the glacial history suggests a progressive aridification of the Eurasian North, with the result that by marine isotope stage 2 significant ice volumes could only accumulate along the Atlantic seaboard. The different climatic signals of thermochrons and cryochrons of the extreme west and east of the continent are discussed. The growth of continentality eastwards restrains the applicability of pollen proxies for climatic reconstructions.
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