Articles | Volume 6, issue 2
30 Mar 2010
 | 30 Mar 2010

Holocene trends in the foraminifer record from the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean

C. Andersson, F. S. R. Pausata, E. Jansen, B. Risebrobakken, and R. J. Telford

Abstract. The early to mid-Holocene thermal optimum is a well-known feature in a wide variety of paleoclimate archives from the Northern Hemisphere. Reconstructed summer temperature anomalies from across northern Europe show a clear maximum around 6000 years before present (6 ka). For the marine realm, Holocene trends in sea-surface temperature reconstructions for the North Atlantic and Norwegian Sea do not exhibit a consistent pattern of early to mid-Holocene warmth. Sea-surface temperature records based on alkenones and diatoms generally show the existence of a warm early to mid-Holocene optimum. In contrast, several foraminifer and radiolarian based temperature records from the North Atlantic and Norwegian Sea show a cool mid-Holocene anomaly and a trend towards warmer temperatures in the late Holocene. In this paper, we revisit the foraminifer record from the Vøring Plateau in the Norwegian Sea. We also compare this record with published foraminifer based temperature reconstructions from the North Atlantic and with modelled (CCSM3) upper ocean temperatures. Model results indicate that while the seasonal summer warming of the sea-surface was stronger during the mid-Holocene, sub-surface depths experienced a cooling. This hydrographic setting can explain the discrepancies between the Holocene trends exhibited by phytoplankton and zooplankton based temperature proxy records.