Is there evidence for a 4.2 ka BP event in the northern North Atlantic region?
We review paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic records from the northern North Atlantic to assess the nature of climatic conditions at 4.2 ka BP, which has been identified as a time of exceptional climatic anomalies in many parts of the world. The northern North Atlantic region experienced relatively warm conditions from 6 to 8 ka BP, followed by a general decline in temperatures after ∼5 ka BP, which led to the onset of neoglaciation. Over the last 5000 years, a series of multi-decadal- to century-scale fluctuations occurred, superimposed on an overall decline in temperature. Although a few records do show a glacial advance around 4.2 ka BP, because they are not widespread we interpret them as local events – simply one glacial advance of many that occurred in response to the overall climatic deterioration that characterized the late Holocene.