Accession Number : ADP007349

Title :   Little Ice Age Glaciation in Alaska: A Record of Recent Global Climatic Change,

Corporate Author : STATE UNIV OF NEW YORK AT BUFFALO AMHERST

Personal Author(s) : Calkin, Parker E. ; Wiles, Gregory C.

Report Date : MAR 1992

Pagination or Media Count : 9

Abstract : General global cooling and temperature fluctuation accompanied by expansion of mountain glaciers characterized the Little Ice Age of about A.D. 1200 through A.D. 1900. The effects of such temperature changes appear first and are strongest at high latitudes. Therefore the Little Ice Age record of glacial fluctuation in Alaska may provide a good proxy for these events and a test for models of future climatic change. Holocene expansions began here as early as 7000 B.P. and locally show a periodicity of 350 years after about 4500 years B.P. The Little Ice Age followed a late Holocene interval of minor ice advance and a subsequent period of ice margin recession lasting one to seven centuries. The timing of expansions since about A.D. 1200 have often varied between glaciers, but these are the most pervasive glacial events of the Holocene in Alaska and frequently represent ice marginal maxima for this interval. At least two major expansions are, apparent in forefields of both land-terminating and fjord-calving glaciers, but the former display the most reliable and detailed climatic record. Major maxima occurred by the 16th century and into the mid-18th century. Culmination of advances occurred throughout Alaska during the 19th century followed within a few decades by general glacial retreat. Concurrently, equilibrium line altitudes have been raised 100-400 m, representing a rise of 2-3 deg C in mean summer temperature.

Descriptors :   *ALASKA, *COOLING, *GLACIERS, *GLOBAL, *MOUNTAINS, *TEMPERATURE, ALTITUDE, EXPANSION, FJORDS, HIGH LATITUDES, ICE, INTERVALS, MEAN, MODELS, PERIODIC VARIATIONS, RECORDS, STOPPING, SUMMER, TEST AND EVALUATION, SYMPOSIA.

Subject Categories : Geography
      Snow, Ice and Permafrost
      Meteorology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE