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African monsoon variability during the previous interglacial maximum

African monsoon variability during the previous interglacial maximum
African monsoon variability during the previous interglacial maximum
Little is known about centennial- to millennial-scale climate variability during interglacial times, other than the Holocene. We here present high-resolution evidence from anoxic (unbioturbated) sediments in the eastern Mediterranean Sea that demonstrates a sustained ~800-yr climate disturbance in the monsoonal latitudes during the Eemian interglacial maximum (~125 ka BP). Results imply that before and after this event, the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) penetrated sufficiently beyond the central Saharan watershed (~21°N) during the summer monsoon to fuel flooding into the Mediterranean along the wider North African margin, through fossil river/wadi systems that to date have been considered only within a Holocene context. Relaxation in the ITCZ penetration during the intra-Eemian event curtailed this flux, but flow from the Nile – with its vast catchment area – was not affected. Previous work suggests a concomitant Eurasian cooling event, with intensified impact of the higher-latitude climate on the Mediterranean basin. The combined signals are very similar to those described for the Holocene cooling event around 8 ka BP. The apparent type of concurrent changes in the monsoon and higher-latitude climate may reflect a fundamental mechanism for variability in the transfer of energy (latent heat) between the tropics and higher latitudes.
eemian, mediterranean region, sapropel, monsoons, anoxic sediments, mediterranean sea, climatic changes, palaeoclimate, geology, meteorology
0012-821X
61-75
Rohling, E.J.
a2a27ef2-fcce-4c71-907b-e692b5ecc685
Cane, T.R.
a9ff4fd8-468a-4322-8769-aa24053f191f
Cooke, S.
d5031b11-137c-4b03-8115-5a1d334bfa62
Sprovieri, M.
4dbee946-d362-44cb-b729-ee0c9ee41403
Bouloubassi, I.
6e477113-bcd9-4f52-a2a2-6dfd2d766ada
Emeis, K.C.
6da3f4ea-69bc-4a1f-b5f4-afa8e8e5e874
Schiebel, R.
e3ee9c3f-ae96-4523-8ec2-2ed7acdfb83a
Kroon, D.
a4874d39-fc16-4fb5-b0fd-8f3199c68d32
Jorissen, F.J.
5e9da85b-8b77-465e-8816-0ed4acf2da63
Lorre, A.
cdfa4af1-5e15-4ac7-afbb-63810096d65c
Kemp, A.E.S.
131b479e-c2c4-47ae-abe1-ad968490960e
Rohling, E.J.
a2a27ef2-fcce-4c71-907b-e692b5ecc685
Cane, T.R.
a9ff4fd8-468a-4322-8769-aa24053f191f
Cooke, S.
d5031b11-137c-4b03-8115-5a1d334bfa62
Sprovieri, M.
4dbee946-d362-44cb-b729-ee0c9ee41403
Bouloubassi, I.
6e477113-bcd9-4f52-a2a2-6dfd2d766ada
Emeis, K.C.
6da3f4ea-69bc-4a1f-b5f4-afa8e8e5e874
Schiebel, R.
e3ee9c3f-ae96-4523-8ec2-2ed7acdfb83a
Kroon, D.
a4874d39-fc16-4fb5-b0fd-8f3199c68d32
Jorissen, F.J.
5e9da85b-8b77-465e-8816-0ed4acf2da63
Lorre, A.
cdfa4af1-5e15-4ac7-afbb-63810096d65c
Kemp, A.E.S.
131b479e-c2c4-47ae-abe1-ad968490960e

Rohling, E.J., Cane, T.R., Cooke, S., Sprovieri, M., Bouloubassi, I., Emeis, K.C., Schiebel, R., Kroon, D., Jorissen, F.J., Lorre, A. and Kemp, A.E.S. (2002) African monsoon variability during the previous interglacial maximum. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 202 (1), 61-75. (doi:10.1016/S0012-821X(02)00775-6).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Little is known about centennial- to millennial-scale climate variability during interglacial times, other than the Holocene. We here present high-resolution evidence from anoxic (unbioturbated) sediments in the eastern Mediterranean Sea that demonstrates a sustained ~800-yr climate disturbance in the monsoonal latitudes during the Eemian interglacial maximum (~125 ka BP). Results imply that before and after this event, the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) penetrated sufficiently beyond the central Saharan watershed (~21°N) during the summer monsoon to fuel flooding into the Mediterranean along the wider North African margin, through fossil river/wadi systems that to date have been considered only within a Holocene context. Relaxation in the ITCZ penetration during the intra-Eemian event curtailed this flux, but flow from the Nile – with its vast catchment area – was not affected. Previous work suggests a concomitant Eurasian cooling event, with intensified impact of the higher-latitude climate on the Mediterranean basin. The combined signals are very similar to those described for the Holocene cooling event around 8 ka BP. The apparent type of concurrent changes in the monsoon and higher-latitude climate may reflect a fundamental mechanism for variability in the transfer of energy (latent heat) between the tropics and higher latitudes.

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More information

Published date: 2002
Keywords: eemian, mediterranean region, sapropel, monsoons, anoxic sediments, mediterranean sea, climatic changes, palaeoclimate, geology, meteorology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 13548
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/13548
ISSN: 0012-821X
PURE UUID: 22fdd060-ec73-4583-9688-29a33824ab05
ORCID for E.J. Rohling: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5349-2158

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Dec 2004
Last modified: 10 Nov 2021 02:45

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Contributors

Author: E.J. Rohling ORCID iD
Author: T.R. Cane
Author: S. Cooke
Author: M. Sprovieri
Author: I. Bouloubassi
Author: K.C. Emeis
Author: R. Schiebel
Author: D. Kroon
Author: F.J. Jorissen
Author: A. Lorre
Author: A.E.S. Kemp

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