The separate roles of oceanic heat advection and orbital forcing on influencing early Holocene temperature variability in the eastern Nordic Seas is investigated. The effect of changing orbital forcing on the ocean temperatures is tested using the 1DICE model, and the 1DICE results are compared with new and previously published temperature reconstructions from a transect of five cores located underneath the pathway of Atlantic water, from the Faroe-Shetland Channel in the south to the Barents Sea in the north. The stronger early Holocene summer insolation at high northern latitudes increased the summer mixed layer temperatures, however, ocean temperatures underneath the summer mixed layer did not increase significantly. The absolute maximum in summer mixed layer temperatures occurred between 9 and 6 ka BP, representing the Holocene Thermal Maximum in the eastern Nordic Seas. In contrast, maximum in northward oceanic heat transport through the Norwegian Atlantic Current occurred approximately 10 ka BP. The maximum in oceanic heat transport at 10 ka BP occurred due to a major reorganization of the Atlantic Ocean circulation, entailing strong and deep rejuvenation of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, combined with changes in the North Atlantic gyre dynamic causing enhanced transport of heat and salt into the Nordic Seas.