School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences


*** I am currently working on this page as a digital 'forum' for paleoclimatic records of the 8.2ka event. I'd like this to be expanded to cover records of other major climate events at some point. I have my first attempt at an imagemap below, but am developing a better way to do this. Updates will come soon, any comments/ideas welcome ****

The 8.2ka event

The “8.2ka event” was the most prominent climatic event occurring in the early Holocene, and has been evident in numerous proxy records. A salinity anomaly in the North Atlantic caused by the outflow of two Laurentide glacial lakes is thought to be a trigger for the event, transferring its effects globally through oceanic and atmospheric redistribution of energy. It has been widely suggested that the event induced environmental responses globally, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, but the magnitude, spatial expression and mechanisms of this response are not well understood. Global climate proxy records derived from published literature are collated and compared here to assess the varying nature of recorded environmental change at and around 8.2ka, which may be a response to the event. Response in the North Atlantic region appears to be of higher magnitude than in the tropics, and its duration is bracketed within better-constrained dates. It is suggested that the lack of evidence in some records may arise because they do not have sufficient resolution to show record a short-lived event.

Below we summarise recorded environmental change globally at or around the time of the "8.2ka event" in Greenland ice cores. Click on an area of the world for more detailed information on proxy records and associated references showing climatic fluctuations at or around 8.2ka BP.

Western North America Eastern North America Tropical America South America Greenland Africa Arabian Peninsula and Arabian Sea Mainland Europe UK and Ireland Scandinavia Iceland Asia Siberia/Northern Asia Tropical Atlantic North Atlantic Antarctica and Southern Polar Oceans South Atlantic Indian Ocean Australia New Zealand Western Pacific Eastern Pacific