Some of Dr Zagorodnov’s criticisms arise from the problems I found utilizing the former Soviet Union (SU) publications. My organization at the time (Polar Continental Shelf Project of the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Canada) funded translation of some of the required papers. I should also have acknowledged the help of V. I. Nikolayev in providing a translation and discussion of Kotlyakov and others’ (1991) paper. One thing I hope my paper did do was bring the extensive work of the SU to the attention of workers in the field of ice-core research. Dr Zagorodnov’s additions and corrections are welcome.
However, my main point was to stress the problems of research in areas of high melt but, at the same time, point out that valuable information can still be extracted. Thus, my main conclusion, that there was a very early Holocene thermal maximum, remains unchanged and is supported by the comments and additional information Dr Zagorodnov presents. The thermal maximum removed many ice caps and caused major recession of others. Regrowth of the different ice caps and glaciers began at various times along the cooling curve of the second half of the Holocene.
Further work is presently being undertaken, some of it under the auspices of the International Geosphere—Biosphere Programme (IGBP), Past Global Changes (PAGES) and International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) programme ICAPP (Ice-core CircumArctic Paleoclimate Programme). All those who work on these ice caps feel sure that we need to examine cores from more than the Greenland ice sheet and Antarctica.