The sediment fill of Haukadalsvatn, a lake in northwest Iceland, preserves a record of environmental change since deglaciation, 13 ka ago. The rapid sedimentation rate over the past 2 ka (ca. 4 m ka-1) provides a high-resolution archive of late Holocene environmental change. Physical and chemical environmental proxies extracted from cores from the Haukadalsvatn sediment fill provide a reconstruction of sub-decadal-scale climate variability in Iceland over the past 2 ka. Over this interval biogenic silica (BSi) reflects warm April-May temperatures, whereas total organic carbon (TOC) peaks represent an increased flux of carbon to the lake from eolian-derived soil erosion following periods of cold summers accompanied by dry, windy winters. The proxy-based temperature reconstructions show a broad interval of warmth through Medieval times, but this warmth is punctuated by multi-decadal cold intervals. The transition into the Little Ice Age occurred in two steps, with initial summer cooling 1250-1300 AD, and a more severe drop in summer temperatures between 1450 and 1500 AD; both are periods of severe explosive volcanism. Multi-decadal patterns of cold and warm conditions have some characteristics of a North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)-like signal, but instrumental records and proxy-based reconstructions of the NAO index contain little power in the frequencies most strongly expressed in our data set.Although severe soil erosion in Iceland is frequently equated with settlement, our reconstructions indicate that soil erosion began several centuries before settlement, whereas for several centuries after settlement, when summer temperatures were relatively high, there was little or no soil erosion. Only during the transition into and during the Little Ice Age did soil erosion become a major feature of the record.