Latitudinal Expansion of the Holocene Optimum in the East Asian Monsoon Region
Thursday, 18 December 2014: 11:50 AM
With increasingly abundant high resolution and high precision records of East Asian monsoon, its spatial and temporal dynamics during the Holocene have been extensively studied. However, partly due to the lack of records in high latitude areas and the age uncertainties, these studies characterized a wide range of spatial-temporal patterns of Holocene Optimum (HO). We reconstructed a 14,000-year record of vegetation using sediments from a crater lake in Northeast China. Analyses of the vegetation time series show that HO began around 6,000 a BP in Northeast China, significantly later than generally recognized. By comparison with Holocene records of vegetation in other regions of the East Asia, we found a marked northward shift of initial time of HO from 10,600 a BP in South China to 6,000 a BP in Northeast China, which appeared to be forced by the shrinkage of the northern hemisphere ice-sheet (NHIS) during early to mid Holocene. Finally, we fitted a regression model of initial HO time on latitude, which allows us to make prediction of initial HO time based on their geographical locations. This study reveals a strong relationship between latitude and initial HO times and provides a window towards understanding the joint forcing of high and low latitude factors on regional climate.