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Carbon isotope analysis of pedogenic carbonate (δ13CCarb) and soil organic matter (δ13CTOC) is widely applied in reconstructions of terrestrial paleovegetation. The δ13C of different archives is considered well matched and equally reflects the proportion of C3/C4 plant biomass covering the soil profile. However, modern soil and paleosol sequences provide substantial evidence that δ13CCarb and δ13CTOC do not always match, raising doubts about the accuracy of quantitative C4 plant reconstructions. Here we report paired δ13C records of pedogenic carbonates and organic matter occluded within carbonate nodules from the Shaozhai section in the central Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). The δ13CCarb record exhibits a positive anomaly and exceeds the theoretical fractionation range with the coexisting δ13CTOC record during the expansion of C4 plants. The possibility of contamination by detrital carbonates and atmospheric CO2 affecting δ13CCarb was ruled out based on the morphological features, mineral fractions, and geochemical composition of carbonate nodules. Our study suggests that the enhanced respiration of C4 plants during pedogenic carbonate precipitation may have caused positive shifts in δ13CCarb records, supporting the hypothesis that the discrepancy in carbon sources explains the δ13CCarb positive anomaly. Thus, the δ13CCarb could reflect the maximum relative abundance of C4 plants during their metabolic peaks.
We conducted the first detailed mineral magnetic investigation of more than nine loess–paleosol couplets of the composite Titel-Stari Slankamen loess section in Serbia, which provides one of the longest and most complete terrestrial record of paleoclimatic changes in Europe since ~1.0 Ma. The results show that the ferrimagnetic mineral assemblage of the loess units is dominated by partially oxidized multidomain (MD) and pseudo-single domain (PSD) magnetite; however, with an increasing degree of pedogenesis, the eolian contribution is gradually masked by pedogenic superparamagnetic(SP) and single-domain (SD) ferrimagnets (mainly maghemite). The overall consistency of ferrimagnetic grain-size parameters indicates an absence of dissolution of the fine-grained ferrimagnetic fraction despite changes in climate regime over the past 1.0 Ma. The variations of normalized dJ/dT@120K and normalized χheating@530°C reflect a long-term stepwise increase in aridity during glacials with a major step at ~0.6–0.5 Ma, over the last 1.0 Ma. Overall, the results provide an improved basis for the future use of the magnetic properties of Serbian loess deposits for paleoclimatic reconstruction.
The aeolian loess-paleosol sequences in the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) are an excellent archive of variations in atmospheric circulation in the geological past. However, there is no consensus regarding the roles of the East Asian winter monsoon and westerly winds in transporting the dust responsible for loess deposition during glacial and interstadial periods. We conducted detailed measurements of the anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) on two parallel loess profiles covering the most recent 130 ka in the western CLP to determine paleowind directions. Results show that the magnetic lineations of the loess and paleosol units in both sections are significantly clustered along the northwest to southeast direction. These observations demonstrate that the prevailing wind system responsible for dust transport in the western CLP was the northwesterly winter monsoon, rather than the westerly winds. The AMS-derived dust-bearing wind direction was relatively stable during the last glacial and interglacial cycle in the western CLP, consistent with sedimentary and AMS evidence from the eastern CLP. Accordingly, it is reasonable to conclude that large areas of deserts and Gobi deserts areas located in the upwind direction were the dominant sources for the aeolian deposits of the Loess Plateau.
The Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau and Arctic both have an important influence on global climate, but the correlation between climate variations in these two regions remains unclear. Here we reconstructed and compared the summer temperature anomalies over the past 1,120 yr (900–2019 CE) in the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau and Arctic. The temperature correlation during the past millennium in these two regions has a distinct centennial variation caused by volcanic eruptions. Furthermore, the abrupt weak-to-strong transition in the temperature correlation during the sixteenth century could be analogous to this type of transition during the Modern Warm Period. The former was forced by volcanic eruptions, while the latter was controlled by changes in greenhouse gases. This implies that anthropogenic, as opposed to natural, forcing has acted to amplify the teleconnection between the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau and Arctic during the Modern Warm Period.
We present a long-term seasonal tree ring cellulose oxygen isotope (δ18Oc) time series created by analyzing four segments (S1, S2, S3, and S4) per year during the period of 1951–2009 from southeastern Tibetan Plateau. This intraseasonal δ18Oc reveals the onset and mature phase of the summer monsoon precipitation in this region. Analysis indicates that the δ18Oc of S1 has the strongest correlation with precipitation during the regional monsoon onset (29–33 pentads, May 21–June 10, r = −0.69), and the δ18Oc values for S2, S3, and S4 correlate strongly with June, July, and August precipitation, respectively. Combined δ18Oc of S2, S3, and S4 shows the most robust correlation (r = −0.82) with the mature-phase monsoon precipitation (June-July-August, JJA), passing rigorous statistical tests for calibration and verification in dendroclimatology. These results demonstrate the feasibility in using long-term intraseasonal δ18Oc to reconstruct the Asian summer monsoon's intraseasonal variations.
A high-resolution pollen and Pediastrum record, spanning 12,500 yr, is presented for Lake Bayanchagan , southern Inner Mongolia. Individual pollen taxa (PT-MAT) and the PFT affinity scores (PFT-MAT) were used for quantitative climatic reconstruction from pollen and algal data. Both techniques indicate that a cold and dry climate, similar to that of today, prevailed before 10,500 cal yr B.P. The wettest climate occurred between ∼10,500 and 6500 cal yr B.P., at which time annual precipitation was up to 30–60% higher than today. The early Holocene increases in temperature and precipitation occurred simultaneously, but mid-Holocene cooling started at approximately 8000 cal yr B.P., 1500 yr earlier than the drying. Vegetation reconstruction was based on the objective assignment of pollen taxa to the plant functional type. The results suggest that this region was dominated by steppe vegetation throughout the Holocene, except for the period ∼9200 to ∼6700 cal yr B.P., when forest patches were relatively common. Inner Mongolia is situated at the limit of the present East Asian monsoon and patterns of vegetation and climate changes in that region during the Holocene probably reflect fluctuations in the monsoon's response to solar insolation variations. The early to middle Holocene monsoon undoubtedly extended to more northern latitudes than at present.
Widespread loess deposits in the Central Shandong Mountains yield valuable paleoclimatic records for this currently semi-humid monsoonal region of northern China. The grain-size distribution and major element composition for bulk samples and two grain-size fractions (< 20 and 20–63 μm) for the loess in the Central Shandong Mountains were compared with loess from the Chinese Loess Plateau and sediment from the Yellow River to help determine its provenance. The presence of a significant percentage of medium- and coarse-silt, and the difference in relatively immobile major element ratios of TiO2/Al2O3 and K2O/Al2O3 for the < 20 and 20–63 μm fractions, suggests that sediment that forms the loess deposits in the Central Shandong Mountains was not blown directly from the northern deserts of China as is the case for the loess deposits of the Chinese Loess Plateau. Rather, this suggests that sediments exposed during glacial times on the North China fluvial plain, including the floodplain of the Yellow River, were the major dust source for the loess in the Central Shangong Mountains. In addition, the wide distribution of perimontane loess in the Central Shandong Mountains region indicates the occurrence of strengthened local aridification during glacial times since the middle Pleistocene.
Particle-size measurements of some typical loess-soil samples taken in different localities of the Chinese Loess Plateau demonstrate that the grain size ratio of <2 μm/>10 μm (%) can be used as an indicator of variations in intensity of the East Asian winter monsoon winds. Grain-size curves of the Baoji and Weinan sections show that this proxy indicator is very sensitive to loess-soil alterations. Analytical results also suggest that during soil-forming periods, eolian dust accumulation was still substantial and, hence, loess deposition can be regarded as a nearly continuous process during the Quaternary period. In this study we compared the Baoji grain-size time series with the SPECMAP marine isotope record with the objective of elucidating the dynamic linkage between changes in global ice volume and the winter monsoon circulation. Both records show good agreement at both time and frequency domains. In particular, the winter monsoon variations are also dominated by a 100,000 yr period over the past 800,000 yr. It is thus inferred that direct local insolation forcing could be less important in driving the East Asian winter monsoon variability, and, alternatively, variations in glacial-age boundary conditions may have played a key role in modulating and pacing its strength and timing.
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