Climate Change Influences Past Human Migration in the Arctic

Summary

Large and abrupt climate changes in West Greenland (panel a) correspond to the appearance, transition and abandonment of settlements of four different human cultures over the past 4,500 years (colored bands). Past temperatures were reconstructed from Greenlandic lake sediments using a newly developed biogeochemical method. Comparison of West Greenland’s temperature history with Ireland (panel b) and the Bermuda Rise (panel c) reveals spatial patterns of temperature change that imply major changes in atmospheric circulation changes have taken place over the past 5,000 years.