Shut down of the South American summer monsoon during the penultimate glacial.
ABSTRACT: We analysed changes in mean annual air temperature (MAAT), vegetation and biomass burning on a long and continuous lake-peat sediment record from the Colônia basin, southeastern Brazil, examining the responses of a wet tropical rainforest over the last 180 ka. Stronger southern atmospheric circulation up to the latitude of Colônia was found for the penultimate glacial with lower temperatures than during the last glacial, while strengthening of the South American summer monsoon (SASM) circulation started during the last interglacial and progressively enhanced a longer wet summer season from 95 ka until the present. Past MAAT variations and fire history were possibly modulated by eccentricity, although with signatures which differ in average and in amplitude between the last 180 ka. Vegetation responses were driven by the interplay between the SASM and southern circulation linked to Antarctic ice volume, inferred by the presence of a cool mixed evergreen forest from 180 to 45 ka progressively replaced by a rainforest. We report cooler temperatures during the marine isotope stage 3 (MIS 3: 57-29 ka) than during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM: 23-19 ka). Our findings show that tropical forest dynamics display different patterns than mid-latitude during the last 180 ka.
Project description:The Great Khingan Mountain range, Northeast China, is located on the northern limit of modern East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM) and thus highly sensitive to the extension of the EASM from glacial to interglacial modes. Here, we present a high-resolution pollen record covering the last glacial maximum and the early Holocene from a closed crater Lake Moon to reconstruct vegetation history during the glacial-interglacial transition and thus register the evolution of the EASM during the last deglaciation. The vegetation history has gone through distinct changes from subalpine meadow in the last glacial maximum to dry steppe dominated by Artemisia from 20.3 to 17.4 ka BP, subalpine meadow dominated by Cyperaceae and Artemisia between 17.4 and 14.4 ka BP, and forest steppe dominated by Betula and Artemisia after 14.4 ka BP. The pollen-based temperature index demonstrates a gradual warming trend started at around 20.3 ka BP with interruptions of several brief events. Two cold conditions occurred around at 17.2-16.6 ka BP and 12.8-11.8 ka BP, temporally correlating to the Henrich 1 and the Younger Dryas events respectively, 1and abrupt warming events occurred around at 14.4 ka BP and 11.8 ka BP, probably relevant to the beginning of the Bølling-Allerød stages and the Holocene. The pollen-based moisture proxy shows distinct drought condition during the last glacial maximum (20.3-18.0 ka BP) and the Younger Dryas. The climate history based on pollen record of Lake Moon suggests that the regional temperature variability was coherent with the classical climate in the North Atlantic, implying the dominance of the high latitude processes on the EASM evolution from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to early Holocene. The local humidity variability was influenced by the EASM limitedly before the Bølling-Allerød warming, which is mainly controlled by the summer rainfall due to the EASM front covering the Northeast China after that.
Project description:Abrupt warming events recorded in Greenland ice cores known as Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) interstadials are linked to changes in tropical circulation during the last glacial cycle. Corresponding variations in South American summer monsoon (SASM) strength are documented, most commonly, in isotopic records from speleothems, but less is known about how these changes affected precipitation and Andean glacier mass balance. Here we present a sediment record spanning the last ~50 ka from Lake Junín (Peru) in the tropical Andes that has sufficient chronologic precision to document abrupt climatic events on a centennial-millennial time scale. DO events involved the near-complete disappearance of glaciers below 4700 masl in the eastern Andean cordillera and major reductions in the level of Peru's second largest lake. Our results reveal the magnitude of the hydroclimatic disruptions in the highest reaches of the Amazon Basin that were caused by a weakening of the SASM during abrupt arctic warming. Accentuated warming in the Arctic could lead to significant reductions in the precipitation-evaporation balance of the southern tropical Andes with deleterious effects on this densely populated region of South America.
Project description:Today, insular Southeast Asia is important for both its remarkably rich biodiversity and globally significant roles in atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Despite the fundamental importance of environmental history for diversity and conservation, there is little primary evidence concerning the nature of vegetation in north equatorial Southeast Asia during the Last Glacial Period (LGP). As a result, even the general distribution of vegetation during the Last Glacial Maximum is debated. Here we show, using the stable carbon isotope composition of ancient cave guano profiles, that there was a substantial forest contraction during the LGP on both peninsular Malaysia and Palawan, while rainforest was maintained in northern Borneo. These results directly support rainforest "refugia" hypotheses and provide evidence that environmental barriers likely reduced genetic mixing between Borneo and Sumatra flora and fauna. Moreover, it sheds light on possible early human dispersal events.
Project description:Atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations are thought to have synchronized global temperatures during Pleistocene glacial–interglacial cycles, yet their impact relative to changes in high-latitude insolation and ice-sheet extent remains poorly constrained. Here, we use tropical glacial fluctuations to assess the timing of low-latitude temperature changes relative to global climate forcings. We report 10Be ages of moraines in tropical East Africa and South America and show that glaciers reached their maxima at ~29 to 20 ka, during the global Last Glacial Maximum. Tropical glacial recession was underway by 20 ka, before the rapid CO2 rise at ~18.2 ka. This “early” tropical warming was influenced by rising high-latitude insolation and coincident ice-sheet recession in both polar regions, which lowered the meridional thermal gradient and reduced tropical heat export to the high latitudes.
Project description:Two atmospheric circulation systems, the mid-latitude Westerlies and the Asian summer monsoon (ASM), play key roles in northern-hemisphere climatic changes. However, the variability of the Westerlies in Asia and their relationship to the ASM remain unclear. Here, we present the longest and highest-resolution drill core from Lake Qinghai on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau (TP), which uniquely records the variability of both the Westerlies and the ASM since 32 ka, reflecting the interplay of these two systems. These records document the anti-phase relationship of the Westerlies and the ASM for both glacial-interglacial and glacial millennial timescales. During the last glaciation, the influence of the Westerlies dominated; prominent dust-rich intervals, correlated with Heinrich events, reflect intensified Westerlies linked to northern high-latitude climate. During the Holocene, the dominant ASM circulation, punctuated by weak events, indicates linkages of the ASM to orbital forcing, North Atlantic abrupt events, and perhaps solar activity changes.
Project description:High-resolution paleoclimate data on stable isotopes in a stalagmite were coupled to glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs). The Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) transitioned from limited rainfall during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to intense precipitation during early Holocene (22 to 6 ka). This was associated with changes in stalagmite growth, abundance of branched (br) and isoprenoid (iso) GDGTs, as well as ?18O, ?13C, Sr/Ca and GDGT-derived signals providing both temperature and moisture information. The reconstructed mean annual air temperature (MAAT) of the most modern stalagmite sample at ~19?°C, matches the surface and cave MAAT, but was ~4?°C lower during LGM. Warming at the end of LGM occurred before ISM strengthened and indicate 6 ka lag consistent with sea surface temperature records. The isotope records during the Younger Dryas show rapid progressions to dry conditions and weak monsoons, but these shifts are not coupled to TEX86. Moreover, change to wetter and stronger ISM, along with warmer Holocene conditions are not continuous indicating a decoupling of local temperatures from ISM.
Project description:A high-resolution multiproxy record, including pollen, foraminifera, and alkenone paleothermometry, obtained from a single core (DG9603) from the Okinawa Trough, East China Sea (ECS), provided unambiguous evidence for asynchronous climate change between the land and ocean over the past 40 ka. On land, the deglacial stage was characterized by rapid warming, as reflected by paleovegetation, and it began ca. 15 kaBP, consistent with the timing of the last deglacial warming in Greenland. However, sea surface temperature estimates from foraminifera and alkenone paleothermometry increased around 20-19 kaBP, as in the Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP). Sea surface temperatures in the Okinawa Trough were influenced mainly by heat transport from the tropical western Pacific Ocean by the Kuroshio Current, but the epicontinental vegetation of the ECS was influenced by atmospheric circulation linked to the northern high-latitude climate. Asynchronous terrestrial and marine signals of the last deglacial warming in East Asia were thus clearly related to ocean currents and atmospheric circulation. We argue that (i) early warming seawater of the WPWP, driven by low-latitude insolation and trade winds, moved northward via the Kuroshio Current and triggered marine warming along the ECS around 20-19 kaBP similar to that in the WPWP, and (ii) an almost complete shutdown of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation ca. 18-15 kaBP was associated with cold Heinrich stadial-1 and delayed terrestrial warming during the last deglacial warming until ca. 15 kaBP at northern high latitudes, and hence in East Asia. Terrestrial deglacial warming therefore lagged behind marine changes by ca. 3-4 ka.
Project description:Drill cores from the inner-alpine valley terrace of Unterangerberg, located in the Eastern Alps of Austria, offer first insights into a Pleistocene sedimentary record that was not accessible so far. The succession comprises diamict, gravel, sand, lignite and thick, fine grained sediments. Additionally, cataclastic deposits originating from two paleo-landslide events are present. Multi-proxy analyses including sedimentological and palynological investigations as well as radiocarbon and luminescence data record the onset of the last glacial period (Würmian) at Unterangerberg at ?120-110 ka. This first time period, correlated to the MIS 5d, was characterised by strong fluvial aggradation under cold climatic conditions, with only sparse vegetation cover. Furthermore, two large and quasi-synchronous landslide events occurred during this time interval. No record of the first Early Würmian interstadial (MIS 5c) is preserved. During the second Early Würmian interstadial (MIS 5a), the local vegetation was characterised by a boreal forest dominated by Picea, with few thermophilous elements. The subsequent collapse of the vegetation is recorded by sediments dated to ?70-60 ka (i.e. MIS 4), with very low pollen concentrations and the potential presence of permafrost. Climatic conditions improved again between ?55 and 45 ka (MIS 3) and cold-adapted trees re-appeared during interstadials, forming an open forest vegetation. MIS 3 stadials were shorter and less severe than the MIS 4 at Unterangerberg, and vegetation during these cold phases was mainly composed of shrubs, herbs and grasses, similar to what is known from today's alpine timberline. The Unterangerberg record ended at ?45 ka and/or was truncated by ice during the Last Glacial Maximum.
Project description:Here we present the first reconstruction of vertical ice-sheet profile changes from any of the Southern Hemisphere's mid-latitude Pleistocene ice sheets. We use cosmogenic radio-nuclide (CRN) exposure analysis to record the decay of the former Patagonian Ice Sheet (PIS) from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and into the late glacial. Our samples, from mountains along an east-west transect to the east of the present North Patagonian Icefield (NPI), serve as 'dipsticks' that allow us to reconstruct past changes in ice-sheet thickness, and demonstrates that the former PIS remained extensive and close to its LGM extent in this region until ~19.0 ka. After this time rapid ice-sheet thinning, initiated at ~18.1 ka, saw ice at or near its present dimension by 15.5 ka. We argue this rapid thinning was triggered by a combination of the rapid southward migration of the precipitation bearing Southern Hemisphere (SH) westerlies and regional warming.
Project description:Recent paleoclimate reconstructions have challenged the traditional view that Northern Hemisphere insolation and associated feedbacks drove synchronous global climate and ice-sheet volume during the last glacial cycle. Here we focus on the response of the Patagonian Ice Sheet, and demonstrate that its maximum expansion culminated at 28,400 ± 500 years before present (28.4 ± 0.5 ka), more than 5,000 years before the minima in 65 °N summer insolation and the formally-defined Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) at 21,000 ± 2,000 years before present. To investigate the potential drivers of this early LGM (eLGM), we simulate the effects of orbital changes using a suite of climate models incorporating prescribed and evolving sea-ice anomalies. Our analyses suggest that Antarctic sea-ice expansion at 28.5 ka altered the location and intensity of the Southern Hemisphere storm track, triggering regional cooling over Patagonia of 5 °C that extends across the wider mid-southern latitudes. In contrast, at the LGM, continued sea-ice expansion reduced regional temperature and precipitation further, effectively starving the ice sheet and resulting in reduced glacial expansion. Our findings highlight the dominant role that orbital changes can play in driving Southern Hemisphere glacial climate via the sensitivity of mid-latitude regions to changes in Antarctic sea-ice extent.