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Keywords:

  • chironomid;
  • late-glacial;
  • Ireland;
  • Lough Nadourcan;
  • palaeoclimate

Abstract

Western Ireland, located adjacent to the North Atlantic, and with a strongly oceanic climate, is potentially sensitive to rapid and extreme climate change. We present the first high-resolution chironomid-inferred mean July temperature reconstruction for Ireland, spanning the late-glacial and early Holocene (LGIT, 15–10 ka BP). The reconstruction suggests an initial rapid warming followed by a short cool phase early in the interstadial. During the interstadial there are oscillations in the inferred temperatures which may relate to Greenland Interstadial events GI-1a–e. The temperature decrease into the stadial occurs in two stages. This two-stage drop can also be seen in other late-glacial chironomid-inferred temperature records from the British Isles. A stepped rise in temperatures into the Holocene, consistent with present-day temperatures in Donegal, is inferred. The results show strong similarities with previously published LGIT chironomid-inferred temperature reconstructions, and with the NGRIP oxygen-isotope curve, which indicates that the oscillations observed in the NGRIP record are of hemispherical significance. The results also highlight the influence of the North Atlantic on the Irish climate throughout the LGIT. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.