Asynchrony between the Greenland ice core chronology and the radiocarbon calibration curve? Evidence from Irish bogs

Max C.A. Torbenson, Gill Plunkett, David Brown

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


A significant cold event, deduced from the Greenland ice cores, took place between 8200 and 8000 cal. BP. Modeling of the event suggests that higher northern latitudes would have also experienced considerable decreases in precipitation and that Ireland would have witnessed one of the greatest depressions. However, no well-dated proxy record exists from the British Isles to test the model results. Here we present independent evidence for a phase of major pine recruitment on Irish bogs at around 8150 cal. BP. Dendrochronological dating of subfossil trees from three sites reveal synchronicity in germination across the region, indicative of a regional forcing, and allows for high-precision radiocarbon based dating. The inner-rings of 40% of all samples from the north of Ireland dating to the period 8500-7500 cal. BP fall within a 25-yr window. The concurrent colonization of pine on peatland is interpreted as drier conditions in the region and provides the first substantive proxy data in support of a significant hydrological change in the north of Ireland accompanying the 8.2 ka event. The dating uncertainties associated with the Irish pine record and the Greenland Ice Core Chronology 2005 (GICC05) do not allow for any overlap between the two. Our results indicate that the discrepancy could be an artifact of dating inaccuracy, and support a similar claim by Lohne et al. (2013) for the Younger Dryas boundaries. If real, this asynchrony will most likely have affected interpretations of previous proxy alignments.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventQRA@50: Quaternary Revolutions - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 07 Jan 201409 Jan 2014


ConferenceQRA@50: Quaternary Revolutions
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • dendrochronology
  • 8.2 ka event,
  • radiocarbon
  • asynchrony
  • proxy alignment


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