Late Pleistocene





Holocene temperature estimates near the Arctic Circle in Norway

Here Lauritzen has analysed oxygen isotope ratios in dripstones in limestone caves


The Holocene is the current interglacial. Commencing at 11, 000 BP (Before Present), temperatures rose abruptly and have remained close to those of the present. By around 7,500 BP the climate in parts of Scotland was 1-2 warmer than it is today. Thereafter temperatures tended to decline, but the several warm phases lasting several centuries seems to have occurred between 3,100.-2,800, during the Roman period and again from 1,100-700 BP.  An abrupt shift to wetter climatic conditions occurred between about 3900 and 3500 BP. After 1300 AD, the climate cooled as the Little Ice Age began. with the coldest years around 1700. The trend since 1850 has been towards warming, with recent years seeing some of the highest average temperatures of the last few centuries and, consequently, restricted and short-lived snow cover.