The equatorial current system, by its response to global circulation changes, provides a unique recording mechanism for long range climatic oscillations. A permanent record of the changes in rate of upwelling and organic production is generated in the equatorial deep sea sediments, particularly by such biogenic components which are unaffected by secondary dissolution. In order to determine the rates of accumulation of various sedimentary components, a reliable differential measurement of age of the strata must be obtained. Various approaches to this problem are reviewed, and sources of error discussed. Secondary dissolution of calcium carbonate introduces a substantial and variable difference between the dissolution-modified, and hence a priori unknown, rate of deposition on one hand and the rate of accumulation, derivable from the observed concentration, on the other. The cause and magnitude of these variations are of importance, particularly since some current dating schemes are based on assumed constancy in the rate of accumulation of this and, in some cases, also all other sedimentary components. The concepts used in rate evaluation are discussed with emphasis on the difference between the state of dissolution, an observable property of the sediment, and the rate of dissolution, a parameter that requires deduction of the carbonate fraction dissolved, and of the time differential. As a most likely cause of the enhanced state of dissolution of the interglacial carbonate sediments is proposed the lowered rates of biogenic production and deposition, which cause longer exposure of the carbonate microfossils to corrosion in the bioturbated surface layer of the sediment. Historical perspective is included in the discussion in view of the dedication of the Symposium to Hans Pettersson, the leader of the Swedish Deep Sea Expedition 1947-1948, an undertaking that opened a new era in deep sea research and planetary dynamics.
The Ecuadorian Amazon, one of the richest reserves of biodiversity in the world, has faced one of the highest rates of deforestation of any Amazonian nation. Most of this forest elimination has been caused by agricultural colonization that followed the discovery of oil fields in 1967. Since the 1990s, an increasing process of urbanization has also engendered new patterns of population mobility within the Amazon, along with traditional ways by which rural settlers make their living. However, while very significant in its effects on deforestation, urbanization and regional development, population mobility within the Amazon has hardly been studied at all, as well as the distinct migration patterns between men and women. This paper uses a longitudinal dataset of 250 farm households in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon to understand differentials between men and women migrants to urban and rural destinations and between men and women non-migrants. First, we use hazard analysis based on the Kaplan-Meier (KM) estimator to obtain the cumulative probability that an individual living in the study area in 1990 or at time t, will out-migrated at some time, t+n, before 1999. Results indicate that out-migration to other rural areas in the Amazon, especially pristine areas is considerably greater than out-migration to the growing, but still incipient, Amazonian urban areas. Furthermore, men are more likely to out-migrate to rural areas than women, while the reverse occurs for urban areas. Difference-of-means tests were employed to examine potential factors accounting for differentials between male and female out-migration to urban and rural areas. Among the key results, relative to men younger women are more likely to out-migrate to urban areas; more difficult access from farms to towns and roads constrains women's migration; and access to new lands in the Amazon-an important cause of further deforestation-is more associated with male out-migration. Economic factors such as engagement in on-farm work, increasing resource scarcity-measured by higher population density at the farm and reduction in farm land on forest and crops-and increase in pasture land are more associated with male out-migration to rural areas. On the other hand, increasing resource scarcity, higher population density and weaker migration networks are more associated with female out-migration to urban areas. Thus, a "vicious cycle" is created: Pressure over land leads to deforestation in most or all farm forest areas and reduces the possibilities for further agricultural extensification (deforestation); out-migration, especially male out-migration, occurs to other rural or forest areas in the Amazon (with women being more likely to choose urban destinations); and, giving continuing population growth and pressures in the new settled areas, new pressures promote further out-migration to rural destinations and unabated deforestation.
Microbial mats are stratified communities that develop within the environmental microgradients established at the interfaces of water and solid substrates (Cohen, 1989). Stromatolites, the lithified remains of layered accumulations of microbial mats, occur in rocks as old as 3.5 Ga (Lowe, 1980; Walter et al., 1980). These lithified microbial communities represent the most ancient, widespread ecosystems known, and it is useful to explore their role in the accumulation of free oxygen in the ancient atmosphere.
A simple 3-box model of the atmosphere/ocean system is used to describe the various stages in the evolution of atmospheric oxygen. In Stage I, which probably lasted until redbeds began to form about 2.0 Ga ago, the Earth's surface environment was generally devoid of free O2, except possibly in localized regions of high productivity in the surface ocean. In Stage II, which may have lasted for less than 150 Ma, the atmosphere and surface ocean were oxidizing, while the deep ocean remained anoxic. In Stage III, which commenced with the disappearance of banded iron formations around 1.85 Ga ago and has lasted until the present, all three surface reservoirs contained appreciable amounts of free O2. Recent and not-so-recent controversies regarding the abundance of oxygen in the Archean atmosphere are identified and discussed. The rate of O2 increase during the Middle and Late Proterozoic is identified as another outstanding question.
Data for the burial efficiency of organic carbon with marine sediments have been compiled for 69 locations. The burial efficiency as here defined is the ratio of the quantity of organic carbon which is ultimately buried to that which reaches the sediment-water interface. As noted previously, the sedimentation rate exerts a dominant influence on the burial efficiency. The logarithm of the burial efficiency is linearly related to the logarithm of the sedimentation rate at low sedimentation rates. At high sedimentation rates the burial efficiency can exceed 50% and becomes nearly independent of the sedimentation rate. The residual of the burial efficiency after the effect of the sedimentation rate has been subtracted is a weak function of the O2 concentration in bottom waters. The scatter is sufficiently large, so that the effect of the O2 concentration in bottom waters on the burial efficiency of organic matter could be either negligible or a minor but significant part of the mechanism that controls the level of O2 in the atmosphere.
Earth's climate has remained reasonably temperate for at least the last 3.5 billion years, despite a large increase in solar luminosity with time. The increase in solar flux has probably been offset by a decrease in atmospheric CO2 concentration caused by a negative feedback in the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle. The same feedback mechanism implies that an Earth-like planet could remain habitable (i.e. possess liquid water) out to a least the orbit of Mars. The initial atmospheric CO2 concentration may have been much higher than the amount required to offset the lower solar output, in which case the Earth may have originally been much hotter than it is today. However, once the initial accretion period was over, Earth should have been stable against either a runaway greenhouse, that is, complete evaporation of the oceans, or against rapid loss of water. Long-term climatic evolution has thus far been studied only with one-dimensional, globally-averaged climate models. Although such models can provide a qualitative understanding of climate history, they rely on a number of assumptions that may not have been valid in the past. Some problems that deserve to be investigated with more sophisticated climate models are discussed.
Climate is an important environmental parameter of the early Earth, likely to have affected the origin and evolution of life, the composition and mineralogy of sedimentary rocks, and stable isotope ratios in sedimentary minerals. There is little observational evidence constraining Precambrian climates. Most of our knowledge is at present theoretical. Factors that must have affected the climate include reduced solar luminosity, enhanced rotation rate of the Earth, an area of land that probably increased with time, and biological evolution, particularly as it affected the composition of the atmosphere and the greenhouse effect. Cloud cover is a major uncertainty about the early Earth. Carbon dioxide and its greenhouse effect are the factors that have been most extensively studied. This paper presents a new examination of the biogeochemical cycles of carbon as they may have changed between an Archean Earth deficient in land, sedimentary rocks, and biological activity, and a Proterozoic Earth much like the modern Earth, but lacking terrestrial life and carbonate-secreting plankton. Results of a numerical simulation of this transition show how increasing biological activity could have drawn down atmospheric carbon dioxide by extracting sedimentary organic carbon from the system. Increasing area of continents could further have drawn down carbon dioxide by encouraging the accumulation of carbonate sediments. An attempt to develop a numerical simulation of the carbon cycles of the Precambrian raises questions about sources and sinks of marine carbon and alkalinity on a world without continents. More information is needed about sea-floor weathering processes.
Recent biological studies demonstrating sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) radiation coupled with research on the radiative impact of stratospheric ozone depletion pose a challenge to climate modelers and reconstructionists to determine past variations in UV radiation. In this study, solar radiative waveband totals are computed applying a numerical model linking the parameterization of the amount of radiation as a function of orbital parameters with the atmospheric solar scattering. Variations are computed for three continuous solar wavebands (0.225–0.285, 0.3–0.325 and 0.325–0.690 μm) and one non-continuous shortwave band (0.175–0.225/0.285–300 μm). With the assumption of invariant latitudinal ozone concentrations over the past 250,000 years, radiation in all wavebands displays significant variations from present levels due to changes produced by Milankovitch orbital mechanisms (obliquity, eccentricity and precession). Specifically: (a) orbital changes produced the following percent ranges from present-day values in the 0.3–0.325 μm waveband over the last 250,000 years: −19% to 30% (June Solstice), −26% to +32% (December Solstice) and −3% to +3% (equinoxes); (b) precessional influences control variations in the total daily radiation; and (c) orbital changes produce a decrease in the amount of visible and UV radiation over the next 10 kyr in the Northern Hemisphere for the spring and summer while increasing visible and UV for the fall and winter. These initial results for long-period radiative variations (a) provide a first comparative range of values in future UV radiative change study related to ozone depletion; (b) generate baseline values for researchers interested in the potential environmental and biological effects of past UV radiative variations; and (c) aid in analyses of the influence of solar radiative changes based upon orbital mechanisms on climatic change.
Our field surveys show that a wetland/swamp layer is widely distributed in the western part of the Chinese Loess Plateau. The grayish-blue and aquatic mollusk-enriched layer at Sujianwan section (typical in the major valleys) is dated between ∼10,000 and 4000 cal. years B.P. A wetland/swamp sub-layer and a pedogenically altered wetland/swamp sub-layer bracket a middle complex of wetland/swamp and fluvial alternating couplets at Dadiwan section (typical in the branch valleys). The middle complex formed between ∼8000 and 6000 cal. years B.P. and contains abundant aquatic mollusks, as well as the highest percentage of the tree and shrub pollens. We propose that four mechanisms might have shared the responsibility for generating and maintaining the Megehumid climate in the western part of the Chinese Loess Plateau. They are (1) the insolation peak (7% more than today's) between 12,000 and 8000 years B.P., (2) the increased late summer insolation about 6000 cal. years B.P. in the Northern Hemisphere, (3) the shift of the long-term El Nino-like system towards the Asian side of the Pacific, and (4) positive vegetation feedbacks under a wet and warm climate.
Short-term (shorter than a century) temperature and rainfall variations correlate roughly along the Afrasian arid belt over the last 500 years. Among various external forcings, solar activity might be one of the most important. The spectral analysis of climatic change in China and auroral number series of the last 1700 years shows some potential relations at the time-scale of decades to century.
The mainly endemic phytoplankton record of Lake Baikal has been used in this study to help interpret climate variability during the last 1000 years in central Asia. The diatom record was derived from a short core taken from the south basin and has been shown to be free from any sedimentary heterogeneities. We employ here a diatom-based inference model of snow accumulation on the frozen lake for the first time (r2boot=0.709; RMSEP=0.120 log cm). However, palaeoenvironmental reconstructions have been improved by the use of correction factors, specifically developed for the dominant phytoplankton (Aulacoseira baicalensis, Aulacoseira skvortzowii, Cyclotella minuta, Stephanodiscus meyerii and Synedra acus) in the south basin of Lake Baikal. Cluster analysis identifies three significant zones in the core, zone 1 (c. 880 AD–c. 1180 AD), zone 2 (c. 1180–1840 AD) and zone 3 (c. 1840–1994 AD), coincident with the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), the Little Ice Age (LIA) and the period of recent warming, respectively. Our results indicate that S. acus dominated the diatom phytoplankton within zone 1 coincident with the MWP. S. acus is an opportunistic species that is able to increase its net growth when A. baicalensis does not. During this period, conditions are likely to have been unfavourable for the net increases in A. baicalensis growth due to the persistence of warm water in the lake, together with an increased length of summer stratification and delay in timing of the autumnal overturn. In zone 2, spring diatom crops blooming under the ice declined in abundances due in part to increased winter severity and snow cover on the lake. Accumulating snow on the lake is likely to have arisen from increased anticyclonic activity, resulting in prolonged winters expressed during the LIA. Thick, accumulating snow cover inhibits light penetration through the ice, thereby having negative effects on cell division rate and extent of turbulence underneath the ice. Consequently, only taxa whose net growth occurs during autumn overturn (C. minuta) predominate in the lake at this time. Diatom census data and reconstructions of snow accumulation suggest that warming in the Lake Baikal region started as early as c. 1750 AD, with a shift from taxa that bloom during autumn overturn to assemblages that begin to grow underneath the frozen lake in spring. Very recent increases and subsequent decline of S. acus in the surface sediments of the lake mirror monitoring records of this species over the last 50 years. Our study confirms that, over the last 1000 years, physical processes are important in determining planktonic diatom populations in the lake and highlights the value of integrated plankton, trap, and sediment studies for improving quantitative palaeoenvironmental reconstructions from fossil material.
During Leg 177 of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP), a well-preserved middle Eocene to lower Miocene sediment record was recovered at Site 1090 on the Agulhas Ridge in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. This new sediment record shows evidence of a hitherto unknown late Eocene opal pulse. Lithological variations, compositional data, mass-accumulation rates of biogenic and lithogenic sediment constituents, grain-size distributions, geochemistry, and clay mineralogy are used to gain insights into mid-Cenozoic environmental changes and to explore the circumstances of the late Eocene opal pulse in terms of reorganizations in ocean circulation.
A wide range of climatic, geologic and archeological records can be characterized by measuring their 14C and 10Be concentrations, using the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). These records are found not only in the traditional sampling sites such as lake sediments and ice cores, but also in diverse natural accumulates and biogeochemical products such as: loess/paleosol deposits, corals, speleothems, forest-fire horizons and weathered meteorites. The in-situ production of cosmogenic radionuclides in terrestrial materials provides several possibilities of determining their chronology. The purpose of this review is to highlight selected applications of AMS, which have bearing to our understanding of both chronology of archival materials, and learning about climatic changes in the past.
Past analogues for our present interglacial or even warmer periods have been sought in order to better understand our present and future climate. Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5, more precisely substage 5e, has long been considered to be a good candidate. However, there were some elements against this analogy in the data themselves [Kukla et al. Quat. Sci. Rev. 16 (6) (1997) 605], as well as in the mechanisms [Berger, 1989 Response of the climate system to CO2 and astronomical forcings. In: Paleo-Analogs, IPCC Working Group I, Bath, 20–21 November 1989] and forcing related to both periods. Here we suggest that the period from 405 to 340 ka before present (BP), including a large part of Marine Isotope Stage 11, could be a good analogue for future climate. The insolation over this interval shows a strong linear correlation with the insolation signal over the recent past and the future. In addition, simulations using the climate model developed in Louvain-la-Neuve (LLN 2-D NH) show that both MIS 11 and the future are characterized by small amount (if any) of continental ice, with almost no variation during the whole interval. In contrast, MIS 5 is exhibiting larger variability in simulated ice volume. This confirms that the interval [405–340 ka BP] may lead to a better understanding of our present and future warm climate.
This study addresses changes in the absolute magnitude and spatial geometry of particle flux and export production in a meridional transect across the central equatorial Pacific Ocean's upwelling system during oxygen isotope Stage 11 and Stage 12 and compares these time periods to the current Holocene interglacial system. Temporal and spatial variability in several chemical proxies of export production, and in particular the distributions of Ba, scavenged Al, and P, are studied in a suite of sediment cores gathered along a cross-equator transect at 5°S, 2°S, 0°, 2°N, and 4°N. Because this latitudinal range preserves strong gradients in biogenic particle flux in the modern equatorial Pacific Ocean, we are able to assess variations in the relative magnitude of export production as well as the meridional width of the equatorial system through the late Quaternary glacial/interglacial cycles. During interglacial oxygen isotope Stage 11 the chemical proxies each indicate lower particle flux and export production than during Stage 12. These records are consistent throughout the transect during this time period, but geographic narrowing (during the interglacial) and widening (during the glacial) of the meridional gradient also occurs. Although carbonate concentration varies dramatically through glacial/interglacial cycles at all latitudes studied, the productivity proxies record only minimal glacial/interglacial change at 5°S and 4°N, indicating that the carbonate minima at these latitudes is controlled dominantly by dissolution rather than production. The chemical data indicate that although the spatial geometry of the system during Stages 11 and 12 indicates maximum productivity at the equator during both glacial and interglacial conditions, the absolute magnitude of export production integrated from 5°S to 4°N during Stage 11 was 25–50% less than during Stage 12, and also was 25–50% less than it is now.
A sediment core from the high latitude of the Northern Atlantic (Nordic seas) was intensively studied by means of biogeochemical, sedimentological, and micropaleontological methods. The proxy records of interglacial marine oxygen isotope stage (MIS) 11 are directly compared with records from the Holocene (MIS 1), revealing that many features of MIS 11 are rather atypical for an interglaciation at these latitudes.Full-interglacial conditions without deposition of ice-rafted debris existed in MIS 11 for about 10 kyr (∼398–408 ka). This time is marked by the lightest d18O values in benthic foraminifera, indicating a small global ice volume, and by the appearance of subpolar planktic foraminifera, indicating a northward advection of Atlantic surface water. A comparison with MIS 1, using the same proxies, implies that surface temperatures were lower and global ice volume was larger during MIS 11. A comparative study of the ratio between planktic and benthic foraminifera also reveals strong differences among the two intervals. These data imply that the coupling between surface and bottom bioproductivity, i.e., the vertical transportation of the amount of fresh organic matter, was different in MIS 11. This is corroborated by a benthic fauna in MIS 11, which contains no epifaunally-living species. Despite comparable values in carbonate content (%), reflectance analyses of the total sediment (greylevel) show much higher values for MIS 11 than for MIS 1. These high values are attributed to increased corrosion of foraminiferal tests, directly affecting the sediment greylevel. The reason for this enhanced carbonate corrosion in MIS 11 remains speculative, but may be linked to the global carbon cycle.
During the last deglaciation two distinct warming phases occurred in the N Atlantic region at ∼14.7 and ∼11.5 ka cal BP. These two shifts are the transitions from (1) GS-2a (Greenland Stadial 2a) to GI-1e (Greenland Interstadial 1e) and (2) GS-1 to the Preboreal. In this study we characterise these two important climate transitions by comparing maps of January and July temperatures for Europe acquired with two independent methods: (1) simulations with the ECHAM4 atmospheric general circulation model in T42 resolution and (2) temperature reconstructions based on geological and palaeoecological data. We also compare estimated lake level changes with simulated P-E (effective precipitation) values. These comparisons enable quantification of the climate change during the two phases. January temperatures increased by as much as 20°C in NW Europe from values between −25°C and −15°C in both GS-2a and GS-1 to temperatures between −5°C and 5°C in both GI-1e and the Preboreal. During July the changes were smaller, as the July temperatures increased in NW Europe by 3–5°C from about 10°C to 15°C in both GS-2a and GS-1 to values of 13°C to 17°C in both GI-1e and the Preboreal. In S Europe the increase in July temperature was less intense. Our analysis suggests that the effective precipitation remained at the same level during the 14.7 ka cal BP transition, whereas a small increase is inferred for some regions for the 11.5 ka cal BP shift. This small effect in effective precipitation is explained by comparable increases in precipitation and evaporation during both transitions. We infer that the strong increase in January temperatures was forced by changes in the N Atlantic Ocean, as the variations in sea surface temperatures and the position of the sea ice margin determined the temperature change over land. The increase in July temperatures was mainly driven by two factors: the increase in insolation and the deglaciation in Scotland and Scandinavia. The insolation changes were gradual (2 to 3 W/m2) compared to the changes in the N Atlantic Ocean, explaining the relatively small temperature increase during July compared to January. In regions that were deglaciated during the two climate transitions, July temperatures appeared to have increased by up to 10°C. Our results suggest that the registration of the magnitude of the two climate shifts in terrestrial proxy records was geographically different due to the changing environmental conditions; variations in the N Atlantic sea ice limit appear to be the most important. This implies that reconstructed temperature curves from different places in Europe should show different magnitudes. Moreover, it is to be expected that the timing of the major warming phases is spatially different, as this timing is mainly determined by the position of the sea ice and land ice margins relative to the place of interest.
Ocean Drilling Program Leg 188, Prydz Bay, East Antarctica is part of a larger initiative to explore the Cenozoic history of the Antarctic Ice Sheet through direct drilling and sampling of the continental margins. In this paper, we present stable isotopic results from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 1167 located on the Prydz Channel Trough Mouth Fan (TMF), the first Antarctic TMF to be drilled. The foraminifer-based δ18O record is interpreted along with sedimentary and downhole logging evidence to reconstruct the Quaternary glacial history of Prydz Bay and the adjacent Lambert Glacier Amery Ice Shelf System (LGAISS). We report an electron spin resonance age date of 36.9±3.3 ka at 0.45 m below sea floor and correlate suspected glacial–interglacial cycles with the global isotopic stratigraphy to improve the chronology for Site 1167. The δ18O record based on planktonic (Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (s.)) and limited benthic results (Globocassidulina crassa), indicates a trend of ice sheet expansion that was interrupted by a period of reduced ice volume and possibly warmer conditions during the early–mid-Pleistocene (0.9–1.38 Ma). An increase in δ18O values after ∼900 ka appears to coincide with the mid-Pleistocene climate transition and the expansion of the northern hemisphere ice sheet. The δ18O record in the upper 50 m of the stratigraphic section indicates as few as three glacial–interglacial cycles, tentatively assigned as marine isotopic stages (MIS) 16–21, are preserved since the Brunhes/Matuyama paleomagnetic reversal (780 ka). This suggests that there is a large unconformity near the top of the section and/or that there may have been few extreme advances of the ice sheet since the mid-Pleistocene climate transition resulting in lowered sedimentation rates on the Prydz Channel TMF. The stable isotopic record from Site 1167 is one of the few available from the area south of the Antarctic Polar Front that has been linked with the global isotopic stratigraphy. Our results suggest the potential for the recovery of useful stable isotopic records in other TMFs.
We present a new inventory of global sulfur dioxide emissions from anthropogenic activities for the years 1980–2000. Emissions were estimated in 11 world regions using country-level emissions inventories and regional fossil fuel sulfur content information. Estimated global emissions in 1990 are 72 TgS with an estimated uncertainty of ±8% due to random errors with additional systematic errors that suggest that true emissions may be higher than this central value. We estimate that 56% of 1990 world emissions are from coal, 24% from oil, 15% from industrial processes and 3% from biomass burning. When our results are compared with other studies, they are similar at the global-mean level, but show marked differences at the regional level. Globally, emissions have been roughly constant from 1980 to the present. However, a significant shift has occurred in the spatial distribution of emissions. While 60% of global emissions in 1980 were from around the North Atlantic basin, this region contributed less than 40% of the global total by 1995 and will contribute even less in the future. Currently, based on our estimates, the centrally planned Asia (CPA) region, dominated by China, is the largest contributor to global sulfur dioxide emissions. A gridded data set for 1990 emissions is also produced, including a consistent seasonal cycle and a stratification of emissions into low and elevated releases. Implications for climate modeling and detection studies are discussed.
New pollen and radiocarbon data from an 8.6-m coastal section, Cape Shpindler (69°43′N; 62°48′E), Yugorski Peninsula, document the latest Pleistocene and Holocene environmental history of this low Arctic region. Twelve AMS 14C dates indicate that the deposits accumulated since about 13,000 until 2000 radiocarbon years BP. A thermokarst lake formed ca. 13,000–12,800 years BP, when scarce arctic tundra vegetation dominated the area. By 12,500 years BP, a shallow lake existed at the site, and Arctic tundra with Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Salix, Saxifraga, and Artemisia dominated nearby vegetation. Climate was colder than today. Betula nana became dominant during the Early Preboreal period about 9500 years BP, responding to a warm event, which was one of the warmest during the Holocene. Decline in B. nana and Salix after 9500 years BP reflects a brief event of Preboreal cooling. A subsequent increase in Betula and Alnus fruticosa pollen percentages reflects amelioration of environmental conditions at the end of Preboreal period (ca. 9300 years BP). A decline in arboreal taxa later, with a dramatic increase in herb taxa, reflects a short cold event at about 9200 years BP. The pollen data reflect a northward movement of tree birch, peaking at the middle Boreal period, around 8500 years BP. Open Betula forest existed on the Kara Sea coast of the Yugorski Peninsula during the Atlantic period (8000–4500 years BP), indicating that climate was significantly warmer than today. Deteriorating climate around the Atlantic–Subboreal boundary (ca. 4500 years BP) is recorded by a decline in Betula percentages. Sedimentation slowed at the site, and processes of denudation and/or soil formation started at the beginning of the Subatlantic period, when vegetation cover on Yugorski Peninsula shifted to near-modern assemblages.
A 58-m-long sediment core IMAGES MD01-2412 was recovered in the southwestern part of the Okhotsk Sea for high resolution paleocenography. An age model of the core was obtained by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) 14C dating of planktonic foraminifer shells, oxygen–isotope stratigraphy of benthic foraminifer calcite, and tephrochronology, resulting in a core-bottom age of 115 kyr. Sea-ice expansion in the Okhotsk Sea was reconstructed by ice-rafted debris (IRD) based on measurement of dropstone, coarse fraction, sand fractions of terrigenous particles, and the magnetic properties. The SW Okhotsk Sea has not had perennial but seasonal sea-ice conditions during the 115 kyr. Seasonal sea ice fluctuated with large amplitudes on millennial scale during the glacials (Marine isotope stage: MIS 2, 3, and 4) and varied relatively little during the Holocene (MIS 1) and the last interglacial (MIS 5). Enhanced polar atmospheric circulation during the glacial resulted in strong wind fields over the Okhotsk Sea and accelerated the large sea-ice expansion during the glacials (MIS 2, 3, and 4). During the interglacials (MIS 1 and 5), sea ice also expanded by small amplitudes. During these periods, decrease of the Amur River discharge would be one of the possible factors for sea-ice expansion. The two main factors of polar atmospheric circulation and Amur River discharge would be responsible for sea-ice expansion during 120 kyr.
Sea-ice expansion in the Okhotsk Sea in winter is sensitively affected by global warming and cooling. Regionally, the southwestern Okhotsk Sea is closely linked to climate change in East Asia, including Japan, because the cold sea surface temperature (SST) in the southwestern Okhotsk Sea influences directly the development of the Okhotsk atmospheric high-pressure system, and the activated Okhotsk high causes cold climatic conditions in northern Japan. Therefore, environmental change in the Okhotsk Sea indicates two-way interactions as a sensitive mirror reflecting global climate change and as a driving force of regional climate change. To better understand how surface environmental changes in the Okhotsk Sea can influence climate change in East Asia, SSTs were estimated in the southwestern Okhotsk Sea for the past 120 ky with millennial to centennial time resolution using the long-chain unsaturated alkyl ketone (alkenone) thermometer. The alkenone temperature, which corresponds to the SST to 20 m depth in autumn, showed repeated abrupt changes at a centennial timescale, especially during the last glacial period, 20–60 ky before present (BP). The alkenone temperature changed concurrently with changes from interstadials (warm events) to stadials (cold events) in the δ18O record of the ice cores from Greenland, although some interstadials could not be identified in the alkenone temperature record. A wavelet power spectrum analysis showed that a periodicity of about 8 ky was prominent during 10–90 ky BP, and a 4- to 5-ky cycle was characteristic during 30–40 ky BP in the alkenone temperature records. These periodicities were both similar and dissimilar to those in the Polar Circulation Index, which is based on the atmospheric circulation intensity at high latitudes, as recorded by major-ion concentrations in GISP2. Both the similarity and dissimilarity imply that the SST in the southwestern Okhotsk Sea is controlled mainly by the atmosphere–ocean circulation system in the Northern Hemisphere; however, the relationship between the SST in the Okhotsk Sea and the climate in the Greenland is not linear. Anomalously high alkenone temperatures occurred repeatedly in the glacial period. These warm alkenone temperature episodes would have had multiple causes. In particular, high alkenone temperatures during the last glacial maximum (LGM) have been reported previously for locations near this study site. More investigations are necessary to understand what happened in the Okhotsk Sea and in adjacent seas at the time of the LGM.
A 198-m-long core was obtained from Lake Poukawa, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand for paleoclimatic analysis. A chronology extending back to ca. 120 ka has been developed using a combination of tephrostratigraphy, radiocarbon, optical, and U–Th disequilbrium dating. The core contains a new record of tephra beds, including temporal intervals poorly recorded elsewhere, and revises the dispersal for some known events. Thirty macroscopic tephra beds were identified, comprising 20 rhyolites with compositions consistent with previously studied tephra from Taupo and Okataina calderas, and 10 andesites–dacites compositionally similar to Tongariro and Egmont centre eruptions. Electron microprobe data provides evidence for a total of 24 rhyolite eruptions amongst the 20 macroscopic beds. Four widespread rhyolitic marker beds: Whakatane (4.6 ka), Kawakawa (22.6 ka), Tahuna (ca. 43 ka), and Rotoehu (ca. 50 ka) provide temporal constraints for the upper 40 m of the core. The occurrence of Opepe (9 ka) and Okaia (23 ka) tephra beds in this core extends their known dispersal to southern North Island. A previously unrecognised and chemically distinct rhyolite tephra (ca. 35 ka) was also found in the sequence. Twelve rhyolitic tephra occur in the interval 50–120 ka, a period in which the timing and nature of volcanic events is poorly understood at proximal sites of the Taupo Volcanic Zone.
We present a mass balance model for Eurasia which is based on the calculation of accumulation from a moisture balance concept. The model is forced with 500 hPa temperatures from GCM time slices at LGM and present day. The model simulates key characteristics, such as control on the size of ice sheets through the advection of moisture, asymmetric ice sheets due to advection of moisture and orography, and the drying of ice sheets when they grow. A simulation of the Eurasian Ice Sheet through a full glacial cycle shows that the model reproduces realistic ice sheets that compare well with geomorphological data. During the Middle Weichselian and the Late Weichselian, the model picks up the trend that the Scandinavian part of the ice grows towards the south and east whilst the ice sheet covering the Barents and Kara Seas remains relatively stable. However, the model seriously underestimates the observed ice extent in the Baltic area. Uncertainties in the temperature and the wind field limit the reliability of regional modelling results.
The concentration of methane in the atmosphere has varied considerably during the last 125,000 years. Boreal wetlands represent one of the main sources of methane emissions into the atmosphere, the rate of which is largely controlled by climate. Changes in climate (mainly in the duration of the frost-free period) and in the extent of wetlands presumably caused variations in the methane production from boreal ecosystems. We chose Northern Eurasia to estimate both climatic changes and the area of methane-producing ecosystems, as it plays a leading role in methane emission. Palaeobotanic and palaeocryological data were used for the reconstruction. The two most recent warm stages: the Holocene Optimum (5500–6000 years BP) and the Last Interglacial Optimum (ca. 125,000 years BP) were studied. During these warm periods, both an area of tundra and the proportion of the wetlands within the boreal forest zone were considerably reduced. On the other hand, a longer frost-free period and higher precipitation would have caused higher methane production. The precipitation rise was apparently in part compensated by an increase in potential evaporation due to higher summer temperatures. Compared to methane emissions of about 9×106 t per year from modern forests of Northern Eurasia, emissions amounted to 86 and 44% of modern values for the region during the Holocene Optimum and Last Interglacial Optimum respectively. Under the greenhouse warming expected early in the 21st century, the climatic conditions may lead to a considerable increase of methane emission.