Research examines abrupt climate change impacts in maritime Europe, media report

Irish World, Irish Mirror, The Irish Times and reported on a recent study by a team of researchers from NUI Galway and the University of Maine, which suggests the physical impact of abrupt climate change in Ireland, Britain and maritime Europe may be markedly different to what was once thought. In a paper published in Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, the team wanted to investigate how abrupt climate changes, such as high-magnitude shifts in average climate, have impacted maritime Europe at the close of the last ice age, reported. By analyzing ancient shells found in Scotland, the team’s data challenges the idea that the “Younger Dryas” period was an abrupt return to an ice age climate in the North Atlantic, by showing that the last glaciers there were actually decaying rapidly during that period, the article states. “This finding is controversial and, if we are correct, it helps rewrite our understanding of how abrupt climate change impacts our maritime region, both in the past and potentially into the future,” said the study’s lead author, Gordon Bromley of NUI Galway’s School of Geography and Archaeology and UMaine’s Climate Change Institute.