Friday, August 29, 2014

Climate Change's Impacts on the Nunatsiavut Fjords of Labrador, Canada

Recent anthropogenic and climatic history of Nunatsiavut fjords (Labrador, Canada).


Richerol et al


This study aimed at reconstructing past climatic and environmental conditions of a poorly known and documented subarctic region, the Nunatsiavut (northern Labrador). A multi-proxy approach was chosen, using fossil dinoflagellate cysts, diatoms and pollen from sediment cores taken into three fjords (Nachvak 59°N; Saglek 58.5°N; Anaktalak 56.5°N). It allowed estimating terrestrial and marine influences in each fjord and documenting the recent history of human activities of the southern fjords (Saglek and Anaktalak). Fossil pollen and dinoflagellate cyst assemblages allowed depicting the climate history of the region over the last ~200-300 years. In contrast to the general warming trend observed in the Arctic and sub-Arctic Canada since the beginning of the Industrial Era, the Nunatsiavut has experienced relative climate stability over this period. Fossil pollen data show a shift of the tree limit to the south illustrating the cooling of terrestrial conditions. Our reconstructions suggest that the Labrador region has remained climatically stable over the last ~150-300 years, with just a slight cooling trend of the reconstructed sea-surface temperatures, only perceptible in Saglek and Anaktalak fjords.

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