A sediment core section from Längsee, a small meromictic lake in the southern Alpine lowland (Carinthia, Austria) close to the Würmian ice margin, was investigated by means of diatoms and pollen. The main aims of the study were to reconstruct water temperature as a signal of climate change during the last glacial termination, compare the aquatic and terrestrial response to the changing climate, and place our findings into a climatic frame on the northern hemispheric scale. A calibration data set (ALPS06) of 116 lakes was constructed using data from newly studied lakes and from two previously published data sets and we established a transfer function for predicting summer epilimnetic water temperatures (SEWT). A locally weighted weighted average regression and calibration model (R jack 2 = 0.89; RSMEP = 1.82°C) was applied to the fossil diatom assemblages in order to reconstruct SEWT. Three major sections were distinguished in the time window of approximately 19-13 cal ka BP, which fitted well with the oxygen isotope curve and the isotope-event stratigraphy from the Greenland ice-core GRIP. The first section was a warming period (SEWT range from 11.6 to 18.0°C; average 15.8°C = ca. 6°C below present) called the Längsee oscillation, which probably correlates with the warmer sub-section (GS-2b) of the Greenland Stadial 2. The subsequent section represents a climate cooling, called the Längsee cold period (SEWT range between 10.6 and 15.9°C; average 12.9°C), which probably corresponds with the sub-section GS-2a of the Greenland Stadial 2, the Heinrich 1 cold event of the North Atlantic, and partially the Gschnitz Stadial in the Alps. The Längsee cold period shows a tri-partition: Two colder phases are separated by a warmer inter-phase. The passive ordination of the core sample scores along maximum water depth indicated that the Längsee cold period was drier than the Längsee oscillation. Strong short-term fluctuations during the Längsee oscillation and the Längsee cold period indicate climate instability. The third section represented climate warming during the Längsee late glacial interstadial (=Greenland Interstadial 1, GI-1) with an average SEWT of 17.5°C. From the minor climatic fluctuations during this interstadial, mainly indicated by pollen, the fluctuation most likely related to the Gerzensee oscillation showed a SEWT decline. During the early immigration and expansion period of shrubs and trees, aquatic and terrestrial records showed distinct discrepancies that might have arose because of time lags in response and differences in sensitivity.
- Programområde 5: Natur og klima