The paleoclimatic record from bottom sediments of Lake Baikal (eastern Siberia) reveals new evidence for an abrupt and intense glaciation during the initial part of the last interglacial period (isotope substage 5d). This glaciation lasted about 12 000 yr from 117 000 to 105 000 yr BP according to correlation with the SPEC-MAP isotope chronology. Lithological and biogeochemical evidence of glaciation from Lake Baikal agrees with evidence for the advance of ice sheet in northwestern Siberia during this time period and also with cryogenic features within the strata of Kazantzevo soils in Southern Siberia. The severe 5d glaciation in Siberia was caused by dramatic cooling due to the decrease in solar insolation (as predicted by the model of insulation changes for northern Asia according to Milankovich theory) coupled with western atmospheric transport of moisture from the opea areas of Northern Atlantic and Arctic seas (which became ice-free due to the intense warming during preceeding isotope substage 5e). Other marine and continental records show evidence for cooling during 5d, but not for intense glaciation. Late Pleistocene glaciations in the Northern Hemisphere may have begun in northwestern Siberia.
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Evidence from Lake Baikal for Siberian glaciation during oxygen-isotope substage 5d