Skip to main content
×
×
Home

An Andean ice-core record of a Middle Holocene mega-drought in North Africa and Asia

  • Mary E. Davis (a1) and Lonnie G. Thompson (a1) (a2)
Abstract

An ice core from the Nevado Huascaran col in the Cordillera Blanca of northern Peru contains high-resolution time series of dust concentrations and size distributions since the end of the last glacial stage. A large dust peak, dated ∼4500 years ago, is contemporaneous with a widespread and prolonged drought that apparently extended from North Africa to eastern China, evidence of which occurs in historical, archeological and paleoclimatic records. This event may have been associated with several centuries of weak Asian/Indian/African monsoons, possibly linked with a protracted cooling in the North Atlantic. During the second half of the 20th century, high austral-summer dust concentrations in the Huascaran record are significantly correlated with atmospheric conditions, such as sea-level pressure and zonal wind velocities that are consistent with El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) indices, and with aridity in North Africa, southwest Asia and the Middle East. Therefore, the dominant submicron fraction of the dust may have been transported by more intense northeasterly trade winds from the African dry regions across the tropical Atlantic during a period of frequent and/or intense ENSO activity. The proposed ENSO conditions that may have been linked with drought in the monsoon region may also have contributed to aridity in tropical South America, including the Cordillera Blanca.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      An Andean ice-core record of a Middle Holocene mega-drought in North Africa and Asia
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      An Andean ice-core record of a Middle Holocene mega-drought in North Africa and Asia
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      An Andean ice-core record of a Middle Holocene mega-drought in North Africa and Asia
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Baker, P.A. and 8 others. 2001. The history of South American tropical precipitation for the past 25,000 years. Science, 291(5504), 640643.
Bar-Matthews, M., Ayalon, A., Kaufman, A. and Wasserburg, G.J.. 1999. The eastern Mediterranean palaeoclimate as a reflection of regional events: Soreq cave, Israel. Earth Planet Sci. Lett., 166, 8595.
Bard, E., Arnold, M., Maurice, P., Duprat, J., Moyes, J. and Duplessy, J.C.. 1987. Retreat velocity of the North Atlantic polar front during the last deglaciation determined by 14C accelerator mass spectrometry. Nature, 328, 791794.
Bender, M. and 6 others. 1994a. Climate correlations between Greenland and Antarctica during the past 100,000 years. Nature, 372(6507), 663666.
Bender, M., Sowers, T.A. and Labeyrie, L.. 1994b. The Dole effect and its variations during the last 130,000 years as measured in the Vostok ice core. Global Biogeochem. Cy., 8(3), 363376.
Berger, A. and Loutre, M.F.. 1991. Insolation values for the climate of the last 10 million years. Quat. Sci. Rev., 10, 297318.
Bolzan, J.F. 1985. Ice flow at the Dome C ice divide based on a deep temperature profile. J. Geophys. Res., 90(D5), 81118124.
Butzer, K.W. 1997. Sociopolitical discontinuity in the Near East c. 2200 BCE: scenarios from Palestine and Egypt. In Dalfes, H.N., Kukla, G. and Weiss, H., eds. Third millennium BC climate change and Old World collapse. Berlin, etc., Springer, 245296. (NATO ASI Series 1.)
Cullen, H.M. and deMenocal, P.B.. 2000. North Atlantic influence on Tigris–Euphrates streamflow. Int. J. Climatol., 20(8), 853863.
Cullen, H.M., deMenocal, P.B., Hemming, S. and Hemming, G.. 2000. Climate change and the collapse of the Akkadian empire: evidence from the deep sea. Geology, 28(4), 379382.
Davis, M.E. 2002. Climatic interpretations of eolian dust records from low-latitude, high-altitude ice cores. (PhD thesis, Ohio State University.)
deMenocal, P. and 6 others. 2000. Abrupt onset and termination of the African humid period: rapid climate responses to gradual insolation forcing. Quat. Sci. Rev., 19, 347361.
Fairbanks, R.G. 1989. A 17,000-year glacio-eustatic sea level record: influence of glacial melting rates on the Younger Dryas event and deep-ocean circulation. Nature, 342(6250), 637642.
Ganopolski, A., Kubatzki, C., Claussen, M., Brovkin, V. and Petoukhov, V.. 1998. The influence of vegetation–atmosphere– ocean interaction on climate during the mid-Holocene. Science, 280, 19161919.
Gasse, F. 1977. Evolution of Lake Abhé (Ethiopia and T.F.A.I.) from 70,000 B.P. Nature, 265, 4245.
Gasse, F. 2000. Hydrological changes in the African tropics since the Last Glacial Maximum. Quat. Sci. Rev., 19(1–5), 189211.
Gasse, F. and 12 others. 1991. A 13,000-year climate record from western Tibet. Nature, 353, 742745.
Gasse, F., Fontes, J.C., van Campo, E. and Wei, K.. 1996. Holocene environmental changes in Bangong Co basin (Western Tibet). Part 4: Discussion and conclusions. Palaeogeogr., Palaeoclimatol., Palaeoecol., 120(1), 7992.
Gillespie, R., Street-Perrott, F.A. and Switsur, R.. 1983. Post-glacial arid episodes in Ethiopia have implications for climate prediction. Nature, 306, 680683.
Grootes, P.M., Stuiver, M., Thompson, L.G. and Mosley-Thompson, E.. 1989. Oxygen isotope changes in tropical ice, Quelccaya, Peru. J. Geophys. Res., 94(D1), 11871194.
Gupta, A.K., Anderson, D.M. and Overpeck, J.T.. 2003. Abrupt changes in the Asian southwest monsoon during the Holocene and their links to the North Atlantic Ocean. Nature, 421(6921), 354357.
Hassan, F.A. 1997. Nile floods and political disorder in early Egypt. In Dalfes, H.N., Kukla, G. and Weiss, H., eds. Third millennium BC climate change and Old World collapse. New York, Springer, 124. (NATO ASI Series 1.)
Henderson, K.A. 1996. The El Niño–Southern Oscillation and other modes of tropical climate variability as recorded in ice cores from the Nevado Huascarán Col, Peru. (MS thesis, Ohio State University.)
Johnsen, S.J. and 9 others. 1992. Irregular glacial interstadials recorded in a new Greenland ice core. Nature, 359(6393), 311313
Kalnay, E. and 21 others. 1996. The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 77(3), 437471.
Kumar, K.K., Rajagopalan, B. and Cane, M.A.. 1999. On the weakening relationship between the Indian monsoon and ENSO. Science, 284(5423), 21562159.
Maslin, M.A. and Burns, S.J.. 2000. Reconstruction of the Amazon Basin effective moisture availability over the past 14,000 years. Science, 290(5550), 22852287.
Morrill, C., Overpeck, J.T. and Cole, J.E.. 2003. A synthesis of abrupt changes in the Asian summer monsoon since the last deglaciation. Holocene, 13(4), 465476.
Moulin, C., Lambert, C.E., Dulac, F. and Dayan, U.. 1997. Control of atmospheric export of dust from North Africa by the North Atlantic Oscillation. Nature, 387(6634), 691694.
Overpeck, J.T., Anderson, D.M., Trumbore, S. and Prell, W.L.. 1996. The southwest Indian monsoon over the last 18,000 years. Climate Dyn., 12(3), 213225.
Readinger, C.R. 2003. The North Atlantic and Pacific decadal oscillations and their imprint on Greenland’s climate record. (MS thesis, Ohio State University.)
Reeh, N. 1988. A flow-line model for calculating the surface profile and the velocity, strain-rate, and stress fields in an ice sheet. J. Glaciol., 34(116), 4654.
Schulz, H., Rad, U. and Erlenkeuser, H.. 1998. Correlation between Arabian Sea and Greenland climate oscillations of the past 110,000 years. Nature, 393(6680), 5457.
Seltzer, G.O., Rodbell, D. and Burns, S.. 2000. Isotopic evidence for late Quaternary climatic change in tropical South America. Geology, 28(1), 3538.
Servant, M. and Servant-Vildary, S.. 1980. L’environnement quaternaire du bassin du Tchad. In Williams, M.A.J. and Faure, H., eds. The Sahara and the Nile. Rotterdam, A.A. Balkema, 133162.
Sirocko, F., Garbe-Schönberg, D., McIntyre, A. and Molfino, B.. 1996. Teleconnections between the subtropical monsoons and high-latitude climates during the last deglaciation. Science, 272(5261), 526529.
Sowers, T. and Bender, M.. 1995. Climate records covering the last deglaciation. Science, 269(5221), 210214.
Sowers, T., Bender, M. and Raynaud, D.. 1989. Elemental and isotopic composition of occluded O2 and N2 in polar ice. J. Geophys. Res., 94(D4), 51375150.
Staubwasser, M., Sirocko, F., Grootes, P.M. and Segl, M.. 2003. Climate change at the 4.2 ka BP termination of the Indus valley civilization and Holocene south Asian monsoon variability. Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(8), 1425. (10.1029/2002GL016822.)
Swap, R., Garstang, M., Greco, M., Talbot, R. and Kållberg, P.. 1992. Saharan dust in the Amazon basin. Tellus, 44B(2), 133149.
Tapia, P.M., Fritz, S.C., Baker, P.A., Seltzer, G.O. and Dunbar, R.B.. 2003. A late Quaternary diatom record of tropical climatic history from Lake Titicaca (Peru and Bolivia). Palaeogeogr., Palaeoclimatol., Palaeoecol., 194(1–3), 139164.
Taylor, K.C. and 7 others. 1993. The ‘flickering switch’ of Late Pleistocene climate change. Nature, 361(6411), 432436.
Thompson, L.G. 2000. Ice core evidence for climate change in the Tropics: implications for our future. Quat. Sci. Rev., 19(1–5), 1935.
Thompson, L.G. and 7 others. 1995. Late glacial stage and Holocene tropical ice core records from Huascarán, Peru. Science, 269(5220), 4650.
Thompson, L.G. and 11 others. 1998. A 25,000-year tropical climate history from Bolivian ice cores. Science, 282(5395), 18581864.
Thompson, L.G., Mosley-Thompson, E. and Henderson, K.A.. 2000. Ice-core palaeoclimate records in tropical South America since the Last Glacial Maximum. J. Quat. Sci., 15(4), 377394.
Thompson, L.G. and 10 others. 2002. Kilimanjaro ice core records: evidence for Holocene climate change in tropical Africa. Science, 298(5593), 589593.
Wang, Y. and 9 others. 2005. The Holocene Asian monsoon: links to solar changes and north Atlantic climate. Science, 308(5723), 854857.
Weiss, H. and 6 others. 1993. The genesis and collapse of third millennium north Mesopotamian civilization. Science, 261(5124), 9951003.
Xiao, J.L., Xu, Q., Nakamura, T., Yang, X., Liang, W. and Inouchi, Y.. 2004. Holocene vegetation variation in the Daihai Lake region of north-central China: a direct indication of the Asian monsoon climatic history. Quat. Sci. Rev., 23(14–15), 15131722.
Yang, S., Lau, K.-M., Yoo, S.-H., Kinter, J.L., Miyakoda, K. and Ho, C.-H.. 2004. Upstream subtropical signals preceding the Asian summer monsoon circulation. J. Climate, 17(21), 42134229.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Annals of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0260-3055
  • EISSN: 1727-5644
  • URL: /core/journals/annals-of-glaciology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 45 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 33 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 14th September 2017 - 23rd April 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.