How mapping the weather 12,000 years ago can help predict future climate change

Brice Rea* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


The end of the last ice age, around 12,000 years ago, was characterised by a final cold phase called the Younger Dryas. Scandinavia was still mostly covered in ice, and across Europe the mountains had many more, and larger, glaciers than today. There was a substantial icefield in the west of Scotland and glaciers could be found on many mountains across the British Isles.

Not surprisingly, the climate was colder back then, especially in winter, with temperatures in the UK getting down to -30°C or lower. Despite these freezing ice-age winters, differences in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun meant the summers were relatively warm, with an average temperature in July between 7°C and 10°C across most of the UK and Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation UK
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

This work was funded by the Leverhulme Trust International Network Grant IN-2012-140.


  • Glaciers
  • Ice Age
  • Jet stream
  • Paleoclimate


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