Multiple thermal maxima during the holocene

Owen K. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The astronomical theory of climatic change provides an alternative to the traditional chronology for Holocene climatic change, which calls for one thermal maximum about 6000 years ago. The theory predicts a series of maxima during the Holocene, one for each season. Because the relation of the perihelion to the spring equinox changes with a 22,000-year period, late summer insolation would have been greatest 5000 years ago, whereas early summer insolation would have been greatest 13,000 years ago. Climatic reconstructions based on the response of ecosystems to late summer climate indicate a later Holocene thermal maximum than paleoclimatic data sensitive to early summer climate. In southern Idaho, three different vegetation types indicate thermal maxima at different times during the Holocene, depending on the climatic variable controlling each type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-619
Number of pages3
Issue number4662
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiple thermal maxima during the holocene'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this