A palaeotemperature reconstruction based on periglacial phenomena in Europe north of approximately 51 °N, is compared with high-resolution regional climate model simulations of the marine oxygen isotope Stage 3 (Stage 3) palaeoclimate. The experiments represent Stage 3 warm (interstadial), Stage 3 cold (stadial) and Last Glacial Maximum climatic conditions. The palaeotemperature reconstruction deviates considerably for the Stage 3 cold climate experiments, with mismatches up to 11 °C for the mean annual air temperature and up to 15°C for the winter temperature. However, in this reconstruction various factors linking climate and permafrost have not been taken into account. In particular a relatively thin snow cover and high climatic variability of the glacial climate could have influenced temperature limits for ice-wedge growth. Based on modelling the 0 °C mean annual ground temperature proves to be an appropriate upper temperature limit. Using this limit, mismatches with the Stage 3 cold climate experiments have been reduced but still remain. We therefore assume that the Stage 3 ice wedges were generated during short (decadal time-scale) intervals of extreme cold climate, below the mean temperatures indicated by the Stage 3 cold climate model simulations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)