Abstract

The Greenland Ice Core Chronology 2005 (GICC05) and the radiocarbon calibration curve (IntCal) are the foremost time scales used in paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental studies of the most recent 10 k.y. Due to varying and often insufficient dating resolution, opportunities to test the synchrony of these two influential chronologies are rare. Here we present evidence for a phase of major pine recruitment on Irish bogs at ca. 8160 yr B.P. Dendrochronological dating of subfossil trees from three sites reveals synchronicity in germination across the study area, indicative of a regional forcing. The concurrent colonization of pine on peatland is interpreted in terms of drier surface conditions and provides the first substantive proxy data in support of a significant hydroclimatic change in the north of Ireland accompanying the 8.2 ka climate cooling event. The date of pine establishment does not overlap with the GICC05 age range for the event, and possible lags between responses are unlikely to explain the full difference. In light of recent studies highlighting a possible offset in GICC05 and IntCal dates, the Irish pine record supports the notion of ice core dates being too early during the period of study. If the suggested discrepancy in timing is an artifact of chronological error, it is likely to have affected interpretations of previous proxy comparisons and alignments.

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