Holocene Climatic History of Northern Europe as Recorded by Vegetation Changes: Possible Influences Upon Human Activity

  • Brian Huntley


The Holocene climate of northern Europe has exhibited changes and fluctuations at a variety of characteristic time scales. At the longest time scale of the Holocene as a whole a variety of ‘slow’ forcing factors has operated leading to long-term trends that in turn have elicited longterm and continental-scale responses in the structure and composition of the vegetation. At millennial time scales fluctuations in ‘intermediate‘ forcing factors have resulted in climatic fluctuations that in turn have elicited vegetation responses on landscape to regional scales. At the shortest subcentennial to annual time scales fluctuations in ‘fast’ forcing factors result in individual to plotscale responses of vegetation. Brief accounts are given below of the principal forcing factors operating at each of these three time scales, of the nature of the resulting climate changes and of the vegetation responses that these changes elicited.


Force Factor Medieval Warm Period Summer Insolation Mild Winter Condition Scandes Mountain 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Huntley
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Research CentreUniversity of DurhamUK-DurhamUK

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