A global database of Holocene paleotemperature records

Darrell Kaufman*, Nicholas McKay, Cody Routson, Michael Erb, Basil Davis, Oliver Heiri, Samuel Jaccard, Jessica Tierney, Christoph Dätwyler, Yarrow Axford, Thomas Brussel, Olivier Cartapanis, Brian Chase, Andria Dawson, Anne de Vernal, Stefan Engels, Lukas Jonkers, Jeremiah Marsicek, Paola Moffa-Sánchez, Carrie MorrillAnais Orsi, Kira Rehfeld, Krystyna Saunders, Philipp S. Sommer, Elizabeth Thomas, Marcela Tonello, Mónika Tóth, Richard Vachula, Andrei Andreev, Sebastien Bertrand, Boris Biskaborn, Manuel Bringué, Stephen Brooks, Magaly Caniupán, Manuel Chevalier, Les Cwynar, Julien Emile-Geay, John Fegyveresi, Angelica Feurdean, Walter Finsinger, Marie Claude Fortin, Louise Foster, Mathew Fox, Konrad Gajewski, Martin Grosjean, Sonja Hausmann, Markus Heinrichs, Naomi Holmes, Boris Ilyashuk, Elena Ilyashuk, Steve Juggins, Deborah Khider, Karin Koinig, Peter Langdon, Isabelle Larocque-Tobler, Jianyong Li, André Lotter, Tomi Luoto, Anson Mackay, Eniko Magyari, Steven Malevich, Bryan Mark, Julieta Massaferro, Vincent Montade, Larisa Nazarova, Elena Novenko, Petr Pařil, Emma Pearson, Matthew Peros, Reinhard Pienitz, Mateusz Płóciennik, David Porinchu, Aaron Potito, Andrew Rees, Scott Reinemann, Stephen Roberts, Nicolas Rolland, Sakari Salonen, Angela Self, Heikki Seppä, Shyhrete Shala, Jeannine Marie St-Jacques, Barbara Stenni, Liudmila Syrykh, Pol Tarrats, Karen Taylor, Valerie van den Bos, Gaute Velle, Eugene Wahl, Ian Walker, Janet Wilmshurst, Enlou Zhang, Snezhana Zhilich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


A comprehensive database of paleoclimate records is needed to place recent warming into the longer-term context of natural climate variability. We present a global compilation of quality-controlled, published, temperature-sensitive proxy records extending back 12,000 years through the Holocene. Data were compiled from 679 sites where time series cover at least 4000 years, are resolved at sub-millennial scale (median spacing of 400 years or finer) and have at least one age control point every 3000 years, with cut-off values slackened in data-sparse regions. The data derive from lake sediment (51%), marine sediment (31%), peat (11%), glacier ice (3%), and other natural archives. The database contains 1319 records, including 157 from the Southern Hemisphere. The multi-proxy database comprises paleotemperature time series based on ecological assemblages, as well as biophysical and geochemical indicators that reflect mean annual or seasonal temperatures, as encoded in the database. This database can be used to reconstruct the spatiotemporal evolution of Holocene temperature at global to regional scales, and is publicly available in Linked Paleo Data (LiPD) format.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115
JournalScientific Data
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Information Systems
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Library and Information Sciences


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