The first annually resolved sedimentary record from the Cretaceous is used to develop time series of inter-annual and decadal scale climate variability from the Arctic Ocean. Analysis of records spanning 1000 years reveals strong periodicities in the quasi-biennial oscillation and El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) band as well as a 14 year period, which all closely match periodicities typical of modern high latitude climate variability. This supports the view that an Arctic Ocean free of permanent sea ice would be driven by similar forcing to the present state, implicating tropical ocean atmosphere interaction and demonstrating that stratosphere- troposphere coupling likely played a prominent role in the transmission of Cretaceous equatorial climate forcing to polar latitudes as has recently been established for the modern earth system. On the other hand, the prominent ENSO periodicities in our records argue against the hypothesized link between past warm climates and “permanent El Niño” states
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