2011-05-26 12:13:10Holocene temperatures
Andy S


Can anybody point me to a recent publication or two on global Holocene temperature reconstructions? I need this for a blog post I am working on. It's the 2000-12,000 year BP interval that I'm particularly interested in.


2011-05-26 14:58:02


Not really sure if there are any good global proxy reconstructions of temperature during Holocene, correct me if I'm wrong anyone.

You have the fig. 5a in Hansen Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change

Also you have Holocene sea level rise and this graph of different proxy reconstructions.

2011-05-27 08:22:46
Andy S


Thanks for the Hansen pointer, Oslo.

I had seen the Wikipedia curves but I hate referencing Wikipedia directly. I was looking for a recent (post AR4) review paper that brought together all the various studies (Antarctic and Greenland ice cores, speleothems, pollen studies, deep ocean cores, mountain glaciers) at a global scale and linking the results to Milankovitch and CO2. Figure 6.9 in AR4 is the best I can find.

PS, John, others, I occasionally have trouble uploading images. I get a "could not copy" message. I'm not sure if this is just me or not.

2011-05-27 09:11:02


It seems to me you would need hemispheric (NH) temperature reconstruction, not global if you want a link to Milankovitch - as can be seen from sea level and Hansens figure - global temperature has been remarkably stable for the last 8000 years, and as Hansens mentions in the paper - global temperature hasn't cooled very much due to orbital changes in this periode.

You might be familiar with this paper, but it's only the last 2.000 years of arctic temperatures.

The press release states:

- The new study is the first to quantify a pervasive cooling across the Arctic on a decade-by-decade basis that is related to an approximately 21,000-year cyclical wobble in Earth's tilt relative to the Sun.

2011-05-27 09:58:17
Andy S


Yes, exactly, hemispheric and seasonal temperature trends on a global basis over the past 10,000 years is what I have on my wish list.  I have heard repeated claims that temperatures in the early & mid Holocene were warmer than now in the NH in summer only, linking this to Milankovitch (like this).

This seems to me like such an obvious and important subject, I assumed that I had overlooked some key publication, whereas it's perhaps the case that such a compilation has never been done.

This paper has part of the story

Thanks again.

2011-05-27 10:04:09
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

Andy, I get that sometimes, too.  I find the problem always has resolved itself after I reboot.  Don't know why, though.  I'm using Firefox, if that helps.

FWIW, I've seen Hansen make that claim about current temps being at least at the level of the HCO (and I've even cited that statement of his), but don't feel like he's documented it thoroughly enough.  IIRC, he's basing it on the ocean core data.

2011-05-27 11:07:48
Rob Painting

Andy, is this any help?  Mid- to Late Holocene climate change: an overview - Wanner 2008

And yeah, I get that problem with image uploading too. 

2011-05-27 12:19:19
Andy S

Great, thanks! It doesn't cover the whole Holocene but it will be very useful.
2011-06-07 02:16:50


There was a presentation (I believe) in the AGU fall meeting that caught my attention - below is a question from me to one of the authers (Shaun Marcott) and his answer (since January):


It was brought to my attention that you and your college did a presentation at the AGU Fall Meeting last year about Global Holocene Temperature Variations
It is a special interest of mine to learn more about the tempterature variations of the holocene, especially globally and how it compaires to the modern rapid warming.
Can you point me to some reading material where your research i explained in more detail than in the abstract?

With kind regards


And his answer:

Dear Höskulder,

We are presently preparing our work for publication, so unfortunately I do not have anything to send you at present from my research group.  The best I can do at this time is point you toward some work by others who have been working on the Holocene for some time now (see attached .pdf).  I hope you find these papers helpful and a good starting point.



The attached pdfs where:

  1. Lorenz et. al 2006 - Orbitally driven iinsolation forcing on Holocene climate trends: Evidence from alkenone data and climate modeling
  2. Mayewski et al 2004 - Holocene climate variability
  3. Wanner et al (see Rob Painting above)
  4. Denton and Broecker 2008 - Wobbly ocean conveyor circulation during the Holocene?

Hope this helps - if anybody has more information, then this is of great interest :)