• Peary Land;
  • North Greenland;
  • stable carbon isotopes;
  • geochemistry;
  • diatom analysis;
  • XRF;
  • palaeolimnology


The Arctic is more vulnerable to climate change than are mid latitudes. Therefore, palaeolimnological studies from the High Arctic are important in providing insights into the dynamics of the climate system. Here we present a multi-proxy study from one of the world's northernmost lakes: Bliss Lake, Peary Land, Greenland. The early Holocene (10 850–10 480 cal. a BP) is characterized by increased erosion and gradually more marine conditions. Full marine conditions developed from 10 480 cal. a BP until the lake was isolated at 7220 cal. a BP. From its marine isolation at 7220 cal. a BP Bliss Lake becomes a lacustrine environment. Evidence from geochemical proxies (δ13C and total organic carbon) suggests that warmer conditions prevailed between 7220 and 6500 cal. a BP, corresponding to the Holocene thermal maximum, and from 3300 until 910 cal. a BP. From 850 to 500 cal. a BP colder climate conditions persisted. The transition from warmer to colder climate conditions taking place around 850 cal. a BP may be associated with the transition from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.