Title Spatiotemporal variability in Arctic climates of the past millennium; implications for the study of Thule culture on Melville Peninsula, Nunavut
Author Finkelstein, S.A.; Ross, J.M.; Adams, J.K.
Author Affil Finkelstein, S.A., University of Toronto, Department of Geography, Toronto, ON, Canada. Other: Nunavut Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth, Canada
Source Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 41(4), p.442-454, . Publisher: University of Colorado, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, Boulder, CO, United States. ISSN: 1523-0430
Publication Date Nov. 2009
Notes In English. 27 refs. CRREL Acc. No: 64001913
Index Terms climatic change; Arctic region; Melville Peninsula; Canada--Nunavut; Canada; Canadian Arctic; Cenozoic; climate change; Holocene; human ecology; International Polar Year 2007-08; IPY 2007-08 Education, Outreach and Communication Publications; Neoglacial; Nunavut; Quaternary; upper Holocene
Abstract During the last millennium, climatic fluctuations occurred in the Arctic that presumably affected ecosystems and people. Paleoclimatologists recognize that the impacts of these fluctuations were not consistent across space or time; however, archaeologists often cite climatic fluctuations as an impetus for Thule migration and more recent regionalization across the Arctic. An interdisciplinary International Polar Year project is examining possible correlations between climate and cultural changes on Melville Peninsula. To better evaluate the role climate played in cultural change on Melville Peninsula and to place emerging data in context, we present here new syntheses of paleoclimatic and archaeological data from adjacent regions to determine how the data sets articulate. A comparison of high-resolution paleoclimatic records suggests dissimilarities in climatic histories across this transitional area, with Little Ice Age cooling possibly occurring 1-2 centuries earlier west of Melville Peninsula than to the east. Although paleoclimates in the Baffin region to the east may have been more variable, the maritime climate may have contributed to a resource-rich environment, resulting in continuous human occupation. The more stable, and possibly cooler, continental climate to the west of Melville Peninsula could explain the relatively fewer Thule sites. This area, however, was relatively densely used throughout the coldest part of the past millennium and the historic period, likely owing to technological specialization and access to European material culture.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1657/1938-4246-41.4.442
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 296812