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Holocene temperature history of northern Iceland inferred from subfossil midges

Axford, Y., Miller, G.H., Geirsdo´ ttirb, A´. and Langdon, P.G. (2007) Holocene temperature history of northern Iceland inferred from subfossil midges Quaternary Science Reviews, 26, pp. 3344-3358. (doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2007.09.003).

Record type: Article


The Holocene temperature history of Iceland is not well known, despite Iceland’s climatically strategic location at the intersection of major surface currents in the high-latitude North Atlantic. Existing terrestrial records reveal spatially heterogeneous changes in Iceland’s glacier extent, vegetation cover, and climate over the Holocene, but these records are temporally discontinuous and mostly qualitative. This paper presents the first quantitative estimates of temperatures throughout the entire Holocene on Iceland. Mean July temperatures are inferred based upon subfossil midge (Chironomidae) assemblages from three coastal lakes in northern Iceland. Midge data from each of the three lakes indicate broadly similar temperature trends, and suggest that the North Icelandic coast experienced relatively cool early Holocene summers and gradual warming throughout the Holocene until after 3 ka. This contrasts with many sites on Iceland and around the high-latitude Northern Hemisphere that experienced an early to mid-Holocene ‘‘thermal maximum’’ in response to enhanced summer insolation forcing. Our results suggest a heightened temperature gradient across Iceland in the early Holocene, with suppressed terrestrial temperatures along the northern coastal fringe, possibly as a result of sea surface conditions on the North Iceland shelf.

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Published date: 2007


Local EPrints ID: 55026
ISSN: 0277-3791
PURE UUID: 4a7f6670-0e92-4f82-a34f-632ffc7b4535
ORCID for P.G. Langdon: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 01 Aug 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:34

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Author: Y. Axford
Author: G.H. Miller
Author: A´. Geirsdo´ ttirb
Author: P.G. Langdon ORCID iD

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