Oxygen-isotope record of late-glacial climatic change in western Ireland

Karin Ahlberg, Elisabeth Almgren, H. E. Wright, Emi Ito, Sarah Hobbie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Oxygen-isotope profiles for the Late-Glacial carbonate sediments from Red Bog and adjacent Lough Gur in County Limerick in western Ireland are readily correlated with the classical biozones delineated on pollen diagrams for the same cores. The estimated summer temperatures of the Bølling/Allerød were as high as those in the early Holocene and are correlated with increasing Milankovitch summer insolation. This warm phase was abruptly terminated in the Younger Dryas cold episode by a depletion of 4‰ in δ18O, suggesting a summer atmospheric temperature decrease of about 12°C, comparable to that inferred from fossil beetle data. The Younger Dryas phase is attributed to a major cooling of the sea-surface temperature by a postulated discharge of icebergs similar to that of the Heinrich events, for the icebergs were much more effective than simple meltwater in cooling the sea surface and thus the climate over Europe. Shorter-term cool phases (Older Dryas, Gerzensee, Preboreal oscillation) are also recognized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-267
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


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