Dust Records in Ice Cores from the Tibetan Plateau

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 8:30 AM
Ninglian Wang, CAREERI, Chinese Acad. of Sci., Lanzhou, China, Tandong Yao, Inst of Tibetan Plateau Res, Beijing, China and Lonnie G Thompson, Byrd Polar Research Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, United States
Dust plays an important role in the Earth system, and it usually displays largely spatial and temporal variations. It is necessary for us to reconstruct the past variations of dust in different regions to better understand the interactions between dust and environments. Ice core records can reveal the history of dust variations. In this paper, we used the Guliya, Dunde, Malan and Dasuopu ice cores from the Tibetan Plateau to study the spatial distribution, the seasonal variations and the secular trends of dust. It was found that the mean dust concentration was higher by one or two order of magnitudes in the Guliya and Dunde ice cores from the northern Tibetan Plateau than in the Dasuopu ice core from the southern Tibetan Plateau. During the year, the highest dust concentration occurs in the springtime in the northern Tibetan Plateau while in the non-monsoon season in the southern Tibetan Plateau. Over the last millennium, the Dasuopu ice core record shows that the 1270s~1380s and 1870s~1990s were the two epochs with high dust concentration. However, the Malan ice core from the northern Tibetan Plateau indicates that high dust concentration occurred in the 1130s~1550s and 1770s~1940s. Interestingly, climatic and environmental records of the ice cores from the Tibetan Plateau reflected that the correlation between dust concentration and air temperature was strongly positive in the southern Plateau while negative in the northern Plateau over the last millennium. This implies that climatic and environmental changes existed considerable differences in the different parts of the Plateau. Moreover, four Asian megadroughts occurred in 1638~1641, 1756~1758, 1790~1796 and 1876~1878, which caused more than tens millions people died, were revealed clearly by dust record in the Dasuopu ice core.