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Wang P.X.,Tongji University | Wang B.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Cheng H.,Xian Jiaotong University | Cheng H.,University of Minnesota | And 5 more authors.
Climate of the Past | Year: 2014

Monsoon has earned increasing attention from the climate community since the last century, yet only recently have regional monsoons been recognized as a global system. It remains a debated issue, however, as to what extent and at which timescales the global monsoon can be viewed as a major mode of climate variability. For this purpose, a PAGES (Past Global Changes) working group (WG) was set up to investigate the concept of the global monsoon and its future research directions. The WG's synthesis is presented here. On the basis of observation and proxy data, the WG found that the regional monsoons can vary coherently, although not perfectly, at various timescales, varying between interannual, interdecadal, centennial, millennial, orbital and tectonic timescales, conforming to the global monsoon concept across timescales. Within the global monsoon system, each subsystem has its own features, depending on its geographic and topographic conditions. Discrimination between global and regional components in the monsoon system is a key to revealing the driving factors in monsoon variations; hence, the global monsoon concept helps to enhance our understanding and to improve future projections of the regional monsoons. This paper starts with a historical review of the global monsoon concept in both modern and paleo-climatology, and an assessment of monsoon proxies used in regional and global scales. The main body of the paper is devoted to a summary of observation data at various timescales, providing evidence of the coherent global monsoon system. The paper concludes with a projection of future monsoon shifts in a warming world. The synthesis will be followed by a companion paper addressing driving mechanisms and outstanding issues in global monsoon studies. Source

Verleyen E.,Ghent University | Hodgson D.A.,Natural Environment Research Council | Sabbe K.,Ghent University | Cremer H.,TNO | And 19 more authors.
Earth-Science Reviews | Year: 2011

We review the post-glacial climate variability along the East Antarctic coastline using terrestrial and shallow marine geological records and compare these reconstructions with data from elsewhere. Nearly all East Antarctic records show a near-synchronous Early Holocene climate optimum (11.5-9 ka BP), coinciding with the deglaciation of currently ice-free regions and the optimum recorded in Antarctic ice and marine sediment cores. Shallow marine and coastal terrestrial climate anomalies appear to be out of phase after the Early Holocene warm period, and show complex regional patterns, but an overall trend of cooling in the terrestrial records. A Mid to Late Holocene warm period is present in many East Antarctic lake and shallow coastal marine records. Although there are some differences in the regional timing of this warm period, it typically occurs somewhere between 4.7 and 1 ka BP, which overlaps with a similar optimum found in Antarctic Peninsula terrestrial records. The differences in the timing of these sometimes abrupt warm events in different records and regions points to a number of mechanisms that we have yet to identify. Nearly all records show a neoglacial cooling from 2 ka BP onwards. There is no evidence along the East Antarctic coastline for an equivalent to the Northern Hemisphere Medieval Warm Period and there is only weak circumstantial evidence in a few places for a cool event crudely equivalent in time to the Northern Hemisphere's Little Ice Age. There is a need for well-dated, high resolution climate records in coastal East Antarctica and particularly in Terre Adélie, Dronning Maud Land and Enderby Land to fully understand the regional climate anomalies, the disparity between marine and terrestrial records, and to determine the significance of the heterogeneous temperature trends being measured in the Antarctic today. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Seddon A.W.R.,University of Oxford | Seddon A.W.R.,University of Bergen | Mackay A.W.,University College London | Baker A.G.,University of Oxford | And 74 more authors.
Journal of Ecology | Year: 2014

Priority question exercises are becoming an increasingly common tool to frame future agendas in conservation and ecological science. They are an effective way to identify research foci that advance the field and that also have high policy and conservation relevance. To date, there has been no coherent synthesis of key questions and priority research areas for palaeoecology, which combines biological, geochemical and molecular techniques in order to reconstruct past ecological and environmental systems on time-scales from decades to millions of years. We adapted a well-established methodology to identify 50 priority research questions in palaeoecology. Using a set of criteria designed to identify realistic and achievable research goals, we selected questions from a pool submitted by the international palaeoecology research community and relevant policy practitioners. The integration of online participation, both before and during the workshop, increased international engagement in question selection. The questions selected are structured around six themes: human-environment interactions in the Anthropocene; biodiversity, conservation and novel ecosystems; biodiversity over long time-scales; ecosystem processes and biogeochemical cycling; comparing, combining and synthesizing information from multiple records; and new developments in palaeoecology. Future opportunities in palaeoecology are related to improved incorporation of uncertainty into reconstructions, an enhanced understanding of ecological and evolutionary dynamics and processes and the continued application of long-term data for better-informed landscape management. © 2013 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. Source

De Jong R.,University of Bern | Von Gunten L.,PAGES International Project Office | Maldonado A.,University of La Serena | Grosjean M.,University of Bern
Climate of the Past | Year: 2013

High-resolution reconstructions of climate variability that cover the past millennia are necessary to improve the understanding of natural and anthropogenic climate change across the globe. Although numerous records are available for the mid-and high-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, global assessments are still compromised by the scarcity of data from the Southern Hemisphere. This is particularly the case for the tropical and subtropical areas. In addition, high elevation sites in the South American Andes may provide insight into the vertical structure of climate change in the mid-troposphere. This study presents a 3000 yr-long austral summer (November to February) temperature reconstruction derived from the 210Pb-and 14C-dated organic sediments of Laguna Chepical (32 16' S, 70 30' W, 3050 m a.s.l.), a high-elevation glacial lake in the subtropical Andes of central Chile. Scanning reflectance spectroscopy in the visible light range provided the spectral index iR/i570/iR/i630, which reflects the clay mineral content in lake sediments. For the calibration period (AD 1901-2006), the iR/i570/iR/i630 data were regressed against monthly meteorological reanalysis data, showing that this proxy was strongly and significantly correlated with mean summer (NDJF) temperatures (iR/i3 yr Combining double low line -0.63, ip/iadj Combining double low line 0.01). This calibration model was used to make a quantitative temperature reconstruction back to 1000 BC. brbr The reconstruction (with a model error RMSEPboot of 0.33 C) shows that the warmest decades of the past 3000 yr occurred during the calibration period. The 19th century (end of the Little Ice Age (LIA)) was cool. The prominent warmth reconstructed for the 18th century, which was also observed in other records from this area, seems systematic for subtropical and southern South America but remains difficult to explain. Except for this warm period, the LIA was generally characterized by cool summers. Back to AD 1400, the results from this study compare remarkably well to low altitude records from the Chilean Central Valley and southern South America. However, the reconstruction from Laguna Chepical does not show a warm Medieval Climate Anomaly during the 12-13th century, which is consistent with records from tropical South America. The Chepical record also indicates substantial cooling prior to 800 BC. This coincides with well-known regional as well as global glacier advances which have been attributed to a grand solar minimum. This study thus provides insight into the climatic drivers and temperature patterns in a region for which currently very few data are available. It also shows that since ca. AD 1400, long-term temperature patterns were generally similar at low and high altitudes in central Chile. © Author(s) 2013. Source

Elbert J.,University of Bern | Grosjean M.,University of Bern | von Gunten L.,PAGES International Project Office | Urrutia R.,University of Concepcion | And 5 more authors.
Holocene | Year: 2012

High-resolution climate reconstructions from a range of natural archives across the world are fundamental to place current climate change into perspective. Paleoclimate records for the Southern Hemisphere are scarce and only a few quantitative high-resolution reconstructions exist for the past millennium. We present a record of annually laminated sediments of Lago Plomo (46°59′S, 72°52′W,203 m a.s.l.) located east of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field (NPI). Radiometric dating (210Pb, 137Cs, 14C AMS) is consistent with counts of millimetre-scale laminae, confirming the annual nature of the laminae couplets with a light summer and a dark winter layer. The varves were analyzed for thickness, mass accumulation rate (MAR), scanning x-ray fluorescence (XRF) and scanning reflectance spectroscopy in the visible range (VIS-RS). MAR data were calibrated against austral winter (JJA) precipitation data (CRU TS 3.0) for the period ad 1930-2002 (r = 0.67, p(aut) < 0.05). Using a linear inverse regression model we reconstructed winter precipitation for Lago Plomo back to ad 1530. The root mean squared error of prediction (RMSEP) is small (13.3 mm/month; 12% of the average precipitation) compared with the pronounced decadal and multidecadal variability, suggesting that most of the reconstructed variability is significant. Wetter phases (reference ad 1930-2002) were observed around ad 1600, ad 1630-1690 and ad 1780-1850, and a prolonged drier period ad 1690-1780 with a multidecadal minimum centered on ad 1770. The spatial correlation for South America suggests that the JJA precipitation record from Lago Plomo is representative for large areas in the southwest between c. 41°S and 51°S. © The Author(s) 2011. Source

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