New publication: Lateglacial and early-Holocene climate variability reconstructed from multi-proxy records on Andøya, northern Norway

Hilary H. Birks, Ingelinn Aarnes, Anne E. Bjune, Stephen J. Brooks, Jostein Bakke, Norbert Kühl, H. John B. Birks, Lateglacial and early-Holocene climate variability reconstructed from multi-proxy records on Andøya, northern Norway, Quaternary Science Reviews, Volume 89, 1 April 2014, Pages 108-122, ISSN 0277-3791, (


We reconstruct mean July temperature (Tjul) from three sites on the island of Andøya, northern Norway for the period 15 000–9000 cal yr BP using three biotic proxies. A probabilistic indicator species approach (pdf method) was used for plant macrofossil data from all sites (M-Tjul). Reconstructions based on pollen (P-Tjul) (2 sites) and chironomids C-Tjul) (1 site) were done using weighted averaging and weighted-averaging partial least-squares, respectively. A sediment proxy for catchment glacier development was measured at the main site, Lusvatnet. The July temperature reconstructions from all the sites show a similar development through the deglaciation. An initial July temperature of 4 °C increased to a maximum of 7–8 °C during the Allerød at c.13 200 cal yr BP. There was no marked cooling at the start of the Younger Dryas (YD) chronozone, at Lusvatnet, C-Tjul decreased after 12 700 cal yr BP to a low of 6 °C at about 12 550 cal yr BP before increasing markedly around 12 400 cal yr BP. Conversely, P-Tjul rose slowly through the early YD. Both proxies exceeded the Allerød temperatures for around 300 years before decreasing towards a minimum of 6 °C at c. 12 000 cal yr BP. M-Tjul maintained a mean of c. 8 °C throughout the YD. Different sensitivities of proxies are discussed. Their different responses during the YD at the three sites, along with the glacial evidence, highlight the role of aridity. At c. 11 500 cal yr BP, July temperatures increased rapidly over Andøya to about 10 °C, and then rose gradually to maximum values of 12 °C at c. 9700 cal yr BP. The temperature reconstructions are consistent with the flow of Atlantic water into the Nordic Seas except during the YD, when variability in sea ice may have been more important. During the early Holocene there are some differences between sites, resulting from local site factors such as altitude and exposure, soil development, and catchment instability.