Abstract

This project of collaborative research (project Ha of the NERC TIGGER programme—Terrestrial Initiative in Global Geological Environmental Research) into the climatic history of the late Holocene used a variety of techniques, both tested and experimental, on carefully chosen sites in lowland and upland environments, to derive high quality proxy-records of climatic change over the last 2000 years. The methodology involved the use of high-resolution analyses (diatoms, cladocera, chironomids, ostracods, magnetics, pollen, macrofossils, humification, lipid biomarkers and stable-isotopes) of the stratigraphy of well-dated (AMS and conventional 14C, 210Pb, pollen, tephra, SCP spheroidal carbonaceous particles) cores from a remote montane lake and lowland lakes, and from a montane blanket and a lowland raised bog, linked to historical records of climate change. This paper reviews some of the major results obtained, both in the magnitude, synchroneity and periodicity of change, especially during the Little Ice Age, and in the evaluation of the various techniques used. The fact that such techniques can be validated and calibrated against a known climatic signal in the recent past, allows for better interpretation of changes in the more distant past.

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