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Karst Records of Climate Variability on Orbital Timescales
Terrestrial paleoarchives have revealed pronounced environmental changes throughout the Quaternary due to climate oscillations modulated by orbital variability. Karst records, in particular speleothems, represent important paleoclimate archives that record the timing of these orbital-scale climate oscillations and shed light on the mechanisms that drive them. The high quality of U-Th ages in terms of accuracy and precision has allowed the investigation of leads, lags and synchronicity during global climate events as documented in speleothems and other archives over the last ~640,000 years. In addition, recent improvements in U-Pb dating provide the opportunity to go deeper into the past. We invite studies that present insights into timing, phases, amplitude and mechanisms of past climate variability over orbital timescales using different proxies and archives from karst systems (speleothem, sediments, tufa, and travertine).
3:30pm - 3:45pm
Pleistocene aridification of the Sahara-Arabian desert
1MPIC, Mainz, Germany; 2MPI SHH, Jena, Germany; 3JGU, Mainz, Germany; 4GU, Frankfurt, Germany; 5LUH, Hannover, Germany
The development and distribution of modern arid subtropical regions (drylands) worldwide are thought to have been brought about by global cooling marking the dawn of the Quaternary (~2.7 Ma). This coincides with global shifts in ocean circulation patterns, the intensification of the Walker-Hadley circulation, declining atmospheric carbon dioxide, the initiation of glacial–interglacial cycles and the intensification of Northern Hemisphere glaciation, the combination of which has lead to the current global distribution of non-polar deserts at ~30° latitude. Today, drylands represent Earth’s largest terrestrial biome, covering ~46% of global land surfaces and supporting a global population of ~3 billion people. Climate models suggest that future warming, caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, is predicted to modify the global distribution of rainfall, resulting in further drying and expansion of drylands. This is contradictory to the geological, suggesting warmer global temperatures coincide with humid periods in the Sahara-Arabian desert arid zone, for example, the African Humid Period (15-5 ka).
Speleothems preserved in arid-zone caves are particularly useful archives for accurately and precisely identifying past humid periods, as they require a minimum of 300 mm precipitation, pedogenesis and vegetation cover to form. Here we present new data from speleothems during the Pleistocene from the Arabian hyperarid zone. Speleothem evidence suggests that during the Pleistocene, the Sahara-Arabian desert has experienced numerous intermittent humid phases, typically occurring with periods of low global ice-volume and warmer global temperatures. This is together with abundant archeological evidence of human settlements during humid phases. We further explore tropical push-pull mechanisms driving heating of the deep tropics and subsequent expansion of the tropical zone and synchronicity of humid phases regionally. These results have significant implications for understanding the drivers of dryland aridity in non-polar deserts globally.
3:45pm - 4:00pm
Moisture transport pathway effect evidenced by triple oxygen isotopes in central Myanmar speleothems
1Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; 2Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; 3Institute of Global Environmental Change, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China
The interpretation of the iconic Chinese speleothem d18O records remains debated, in part because the records contain muted glacial-interglacial variability, distinctly different from the majority of other proxy records from the Asian monsoon region. Here, we extended a speleothem record from central Myanmar, now covering a large portion of the past 40,000 years. When comparing with other cave records from locations along the trajectory of the Indian summer monsoon, our record from central Myanmar confirms our previous observations, that is, a larger d18O gradient along the moisture trajectory during the glacial time relative to today. We also performed triple oxygen isotope (16O-17O-18O) analysis on the speleothems. We found that 17O-excess (or ∆17O) of monsoon precipitation during the last glacial maximum (LGM) is ~26 ± 2 per meg, substantially higher than the value of ~15 ± 5 per meg in modern times. The decrease of 10 per meg in ∆17O from the LGM to Holocene probably indicates an increase in relative humidity (RH) of monsoon moisture. Thus, during the glacial time, there existed a significant drop in RH, corresponding to a stronger continental re-evaporation and possibly suppressed plant transpiration. Both our speleothem d18O and ∆17O results therefore support our hypothesised mechanism of the moisture transport pathway effect in addressing the d18O variability in Chinese speleothem records.
4:00pm - 4:15pm
Deconvolution of speleothem carbonate oxygen isotope composition reveals Asian monsoon response to North Atlantic circulation collapse
1Climate Geochemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany; 2Institute of Global Environmental Change, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China; 3State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an, China.; 4Key laboratory of Karst Dynamics, MLR, Institute of Karst Geology, CAGS, Guilin, China; 5Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Minnesota, Tate Hall, Minneapolis, MN, USA; 6Institute of Geosciences, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany; 7Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland; 8Center for Climate Physics, Institute for Basic Science, Busan, Republic of Korea; 9Pusan National University, Busan, Republic of Korea
Asian monsoon speleothem carbonate δ18O responds strongly to massive iceberg discharge events (Heinrich events: HE) in the North Atlantic, which were associated with a slow down or full collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Thus far, the climate mechanism that links the AMOC strength to speleothem carbonate δ18O is not fully understood, because speleothem carbonate δ18O is controlled by parent water δ18O, cave air temperature and potential kinetic isotope effects. We use a unique approach by combining three novel proxies (fluid inclusion isotopes, TEX86 and dual clumped isotopes) to quantitatively deconvolve the speleothem carbonate δ18O signal from southwest Chinese speleothems that cover the Penultimate deglaciation (i.e. Termination II) and multiple North Atlantic meltwater pulses.
The record (145-125 ka) consists of two speleothems that partly overlap in time, and all proxies replicate well. Fluid inclusion isotopes plot on or close to the meteoric water line, suggesting that it is representative for the isotope composition of fossil rainfall, whereas our dual clumped isotope data (D47, D48)show that the speleothem calcite precipitated indistinguishable from oxygen isotope equilibrium. TEX86 temperature data and dual clumped temperature data from HE11 and MIS5 are within uncertainty.
TEX86 temperature data follows the same trend as carbonate δ18O, with temperatures varying between 15.8°C during HE11 and 20.4°C during MIS5e. Cave air temperature thus accounts for 1 permille δ18O variability. The carbonate δ18O shows an amplitude of about 7 permille across this time interval, so 6 permille can be attributed to parent water δ18O changes. Interestingly, the fluid inclusion isotopes only show about 4-5 permille variation, and do not show the same trend as cave air temperature or carbonate δ18O. We suggest that this is related to a bias towards fluid inclusion rich summer layers in the speleothems, whereas carbonate δ18O represents an annual weighted mean. The fluid inclusion isotope composition is thus interpreted as an Asian summer monsoon intensity signal.
On millennial timescales the Penultimate deglaciation is associated with several smaller meltwater pulses and a large one peaking at 133 ka. The carbonate δ18O and TEX86 temperatures show a response to all of these, but the fluid inclusion isotope data only increased dramatically at the peak of the large meltwater pulse during HE11. Our deconvolution of the carbonate δ18O signal, thus suggests that the Asian summer monsoon intensity responds less sensitive to meltwater pulses compared to cave air temperature and carbonate δ18O.
4:15pm - 4:30pm
The intensity, position, and width changes of the Intertropical Convergence Zone since the Last Glacial Maximum
1Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; 2Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan.; 3Yunnan Key Laboratory of Earth System Science, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China.; 4Faculty of Mining and Petroleum Engineering, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Bandung 40132, Indonesia.; 5School of Geographical Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China.; 6Department of Geological Engineering, Hasanuddin University, Makassar 90245, Indonesia.; 7Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.
The intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) plays a key role in regulating tropical hydroclimate and global water cycle through its latitudinal movement, contraction-expansion, and rainfall intensity change. The long-term variability of the ITCZ, for instance, its changes in strength, position, and width, along with the corresponding driving mechanisms, however, remains ambiguous. Here we incorporate a new speleothem oxygen isotope (δ18O) record from southwestern Sulawesi, Indonesia with existing speleothem δ18O records from the Maritime Continent. The spatial distribution of the absolute speleothem δ18O allows us to constrain the latitudinal movements of the mean ITCZ within 3°during the past 30,000 years. Moreover, using the δ18O gradients between inside and outside of the mean ITCZ and between central and marginal ITCZ, we are able to separately reconstruct the latitudinal movements and width changes of the ITCZ. We find that the ITCZ gets more intensified and also expanded during the northward migration from the LGM to the Holocene, in contrast with the "deep tropics squeeze“ observed during the present day. We also find intensified ITCZ and El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) coupling during the Holocene, which likely also persist and bring profound tropical hydroclimate changes in the future.
4:30pm - 5:00pm
Stalagmite records of meltwater release and temperature change in the North Atlantic
1ETH Zurich, Switzerland; 2University of Barcelona; 3University of Exeter; 4Pyrenean Institute of Ecology; 5University of Oviedo; 6Xi'an Jiaotong University; 7University of Minnesota; 8Nanjing Normal University; 9University of Bern; 10Oxford University
Speleothems from coastal caves in NW Iberia provide very high resolution records of the interplay of rapid meltwater addition and regional cooling accompanying instability in Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. Through a comparison of marine and speleothem records on independent chronology spanning TI, we find that the δ18O of NW Iberia speleothem archive (NISA) is a robust recorder of the δ18Oseawater of the surface eastern North Atlantic, the main moisture source for precipitation in this region. Additionally, the δ13CNISA is highly correlated with marine SST records because temperature is a dominant control over soil pCO2 and therefore dripwater δ13C. We show how these proxies can be used to provide direct, high-resolution records of periods of rapid melting of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets during the penultimate deglaciation, including centennial scale meltwater pulses whose duration is constrained by counting of annual fluorescent bands. At the multidecadal to centennial scale, we assess the relationship between freshening events and antecedent temperature change, as well as the temperature feedbacks to century-scale freshening events consistent with AMOC slowdown. Across TII, we find the first of these AMOC slowdowns, 600 year duration, was shorter than Heinrich 1 of the last deglaciation. Although similar insolation forcing initiated the last two deglaciations, the more rapid and sustained rate of freshening in the eastern North Atlantic penultimate deglaciation likely reflects a larger volume of ice stored in the marine-based Eurasian Ice sheet during the penultimate glacial in contrast to the land-based ice sheet on North America as during the last glacial. Across long term orbital timescales, we illustrate the potential to deconvolve vegetation/soil drivers of speleothem δ13C from in cave degassing and prior calcite precipitation effects, to attain more robust and reproducible estimates of temperature evolution.