Proxy climate record for the last 1000 years from Irish blanket peat and a possible link to solar variability

Proxy climate record for the last 1000 years from Irish blanket peat and a possible link to solar... Recent research has shown that ombrotrophic mires can yield a proxy climate signal based on changes in the degree of peat humification (1,2), and that oceanic margin sites show the most sensitive record (3). We compare humification records for the last 1000 yr from two radiocarbon-dated blanket peat profiles from western Ireland, and show several corresponding periods of climatic fluctuations. Periods favouring reduced peat decomposition, suggestive of wetter and/or cooler climatic conditions, seem to coincide with periods of reduced sunspot activity and atmospheric 14 C anomalies. Whilst climatologists have continued to debate a link between solar variability on a century timescale and climate change, the exact nature of that link remains elusive (4–7). The results from Ireland demonstrate that data derived from mires could be relevant to the debate as to the extent of solar forcing in natural climatic variability, and the curves shown provide a continuous record to add to previous evidence for the so-called ‘Medieval Optimum’ and ‘Little Ice Age’ (8). The record may imply that, during the past millennium, climatic change at the oceanic margin of the northeast Atlantic largely corresponded to inferred variations in solar output. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Earth and Planetary Science Letters Elsevier

Proxy climate record for the last 1000 years from Irish blanket peat and a possible link to solar variability

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 1995 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved
ISSN
0012-821X
eISSN
1385-013X
DOI
10.1016/0012-821X(95)00072-K
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Recent research has shown that ombrotrophic mires can yield a proxy climate signal based on changes in the degree of peat humification (1,2), and that oceanic margin sites show the most sensitive record (3). We compare humification records for the last 1000 yr from two radiocarbon-dated blanket peat profiles from western Ireland, and show several corresponding periods of climatic fluctuations. Periods favouring reduced peat decomposition, suggestive of wetter and/or cooler climatic conditions, seem to coincide with periods of reduced sunspot activity and atmospheric 14 C anomalies. Whilst climatologists have continued to debate a link between solar variability on a century timescale and climate change, the exact nature of that link remains elusive (4–7). The results from Ireland demonstrate that data derived from mires could be relevant to the debate as to the extent of solar forcing in natural climatic variability, and the curves shown provide a continuous record to add to previous evidence for the so-called ‘Medieval Optimum’ and ‘Little Ice Age’ (8). The record may imply that, during the past millennium, climatic change at the oceanic margin of the northeast Atlantic largely corresponded to inferred variations in solar output.

Journal

Earth and Planetary Science LettersElsevier

Published: Jun 1, 1995

References

  • Peat-bog stratigraphy as a proxy climate record
    Barber, K.E.
  • Variation of spring climate in lower-middle Yangtse River Valley and its relation with solar-cycle length
    Hameed, S.; Gong, G.
  • Climate Change 1992: Supplementary Report to the IPCC Scientific Assessment

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