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Project CELIA: Climate and Environment of the Last Interglacial (Isotope Stage 5) in Arctic and Subarctic North America,

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Stage 5e of the marine oxygen isotope record is the last time when world ice volume was lower, sea level was higher, and world climate warmer than during any part of the Holocene. To develop more accurate proxy data for natural climate change during the last interglacial, a multidisciplinary group of scientists working as regional teams has developed Project CELIA to generate and synthesize knowledge for this period from high latitude terrestrial and nearshore marine environments. We have cited 13 terrestrial sequences distributed across the Arctic and Subarctic for detailed study based upon well-exposed stratigraphy, abundance of organic remains, and geochronological potential. In addition, information from select marine cores bearing terrestrial pollen and ice cores from Devon and Agassiz Ice Caps will also be incorporated. These data will highlight regional changes in vegetation patterns, tree line position, permafrost distribution, and sea ice conditions from which oceanatmospheric changes can be inferred. This information will be of value for testing hypotheses generated by GCMs and other simulations of interglacial conditions, refining such models and providing insight to future environments resulting from global warming. CELIA will be carried out over the next 5 years and will be directed by an international board of experts under the auspices of the University of Albertas Canadian Circumpolar Institute.

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  • Geography
  • Snow, Ice and Permafrost
  • Meteorology

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