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The Holocene is the present geological epoch. It started around 11,000 years ago after the last ice age. We are currently going through a non-ice age warm stage in Earth's history.
Holocene climatic optimum
The Holocene climatic optimum (HCO) was a warm period from about 9,000 to 5,000 years BP. The interesting thing about this is, despite recent global warming, we are still below this warm period (see diagram).
This warm period was followed by a gradual decline until about two millennia ago.
The Holocene is also called the Recent epoch. It is the second stage in the Quaternary period.
At this time the Bering bridge connecting Russia and Alaska melted. Also the land bridge between China and Japan melted (starting the Jōmon period), as well as many land bridges between islands in Southeast Asia.
- Martin P.S. and Klein R.G. eds 1984. Quaternary extinctions: a prehistoric revolution. Arizona, Tucson AZ.
- Roberts, Neil 1998. The Holocene: an environmental history. 2nd ed, Blackwell, Malden, MA.
- Mackay A.W. Battarbee R.W. Birks H.J.B. et al. eds 2003. Global change in the Holocene. Arnold, London.