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Article: Wet climate during the 'Little Ice Age' in the arid Tarim Basin, Northwestern China

TitleWet climate during the 'Little Ice Age' in the arid Tarim Basin, Northwestern China
Authors
Keywordsaridity
LIA
plant carbon isotopes
Tarim Basin
Issue Date2011
PublisherSage Publications Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://hol.sagepub.com
Citation
Holocene, 2011, v. 21 n. 3, p. 409-416 How to Cite?
AbstractA relatively cold period, the 'Little Ice Age' (LIA), just prior to the current warm period, has been documented from many regions of the globe. However, hydrological changes (wet/dry conditions) during the LIA appear to be very different across different climatic regimes, suggesting that the position, strength and/or pattern of atmospheric circulation could have changed significantly in the past. Therefore, paleohydrological studies may have some implications for potential future hydrological changes in an anticipated warming world. In this study, we investigated hydrological changes over the last ~800 years in the arid Tarim Basin, northwestern China. We used carbon isotopes of plant remains (mainly leaves) from a 10.5 m long aeolian sand sediment section to evaluate changes in dry/wet conditions. The average value of carbon isotopes of plant remains during the LIA period (~AD 1490 to 1890) is -26.0‰, ranging from -28.2‰ to -23.6‰, much lower than values before (average of -24.3‰, from -25.5‰ to -22.4‰) and after this period (average of -22.8‰, -24.6‰ to -21.6‰). Although other environmental factors could also affect carbon isotopes to some degree, such consistent, large negative isotopic excursions of up to 6‰ strongly suggest a wetter climatic condition in the study area at that time, which is also consistent with two silty clay layers, indicating a wet depositional environment, found around AD 1560 and AD 1625 during the LIA period. This inference is consistent with previous studies suggesting a relatively wet period during the LIA in the Tarim Basin and possibly extending to the western central Asia region, but appears to be opposite to hydrological changes in regions that are today dominated by Asian monsoon systems. This pattern of regional hydrological changes may be related to possible changes in the trajectory or strength of the westerlies and/or the orographic effect in this region, as previous studies suggested. © The Author(s) 2010.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/139161
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 2.135
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.147
ISI Accession Number ID
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Key Funds of China2010CB833400
National Science Foundation of China40873011
Chinese Academy of Scienceskzcx2-yw-149
Hong Kong Research Grants CouncilHKU 703809P
Funding Information:

We would like to thank Dr Fu Caofeng, Dr Han Yongming for help in the field, Mr He Yahui for carbon isotope analysis, and two anonymous reviewers for their careful and constructive reviews. The research was supported by the National Key Funds of China (No. 2010CB833400), National Science Foundation of China (No. 40873011), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. kzcx2-yw-149) to W. Liu and the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (HKU 703809P) to Z. Liu.

References
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DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLiu, Wen_HK
dc.contributor.authorLiu, Zen_HK
dc.contributor.authorAn, Zen_HK
dc.contributor.authorWang, Xen_HK
dc.contributor.authorChang, Hen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2011-09-23T05:46:11Z-
dc.date.available2011-09-23T05:46:11Z-
dc.date.issued2011en_HK
dc.identifier.citationHolocene, 2011, v. 21 n. 3, p. 409-416en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0959-6836en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/139161-
dc.description.abstractA relatively cold period, the 'Little Ice Age' (LIA), just prior to the current warm period, has been documented from many regions of the globe. However, hydrological changes (wet/dry conditions) during the LIA appear to be very different across different climatic regimes, suggesting that the position, strength and/or pattern of atmospheric circulation could have changed significantly in the past. Therefore, paleohydrological studies may have some implications for potential future hydrological changes in an anticipated warming world. In this study, we investigated hydrological changes over the last ~800 years in the arid Tarim Basin, northwestern China. We used carbon isotopes of plant remains (mainly leaves) from a 10.5 m long aeolian sand sediment section to evaluate changes in dry/wet conditions. The average value of carbon isotopes of plant remains during the LIA period (~AD 1490 to 1890) is -26.0‰, ranging from -28.2‰ to -23.6‰, much lower than values before (average of -24.3‰, from -25.5‰ to -22.4‰) and after this period (average of -22.8‰, -24.6‰ to -21.6‰). Although other environmental factors could also affect carbon isotopes to some degree, such consistent, large negative isotopic excursions of up to 6‰ strongly suggest a wetter climatic condition in the study area at that time, which is also consistent with two silty clay layers, indicating a wet depositional environment, found around AD 1560 and AD 1625 during the LIA period. This inference is consistent with previous studies suggesting a relatively wet period during the LIA in the Tarim Basin and possibly extending to the western central Asia region, but appears to be opposite to hydrological changes in regions that are today dominated by Asian monsoon systems. This pattern of regional hydrological changes may be related to possible changes in the trajectory or strength of the westerlies and/or the orographic effect in this region, as previous studies suggested. © The Author(s) 2010.en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherSage Publications Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://hol.sagepub.comen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofHoloceneen_HK
dc.rightsThe Holocene. Copyright © Sage Publications Ltd.-
dc.subjectaridityen_HK
dc.subjectLIAen_HK
dc.subjectplant carbon isotopesen_HK
dc.subjectTarim Basinen_HK
dc.titleWet climate during the 'Little Ice Age' in the arid Tarim Basin, Northwestern Chinaen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailLiu, Z:zhliu@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityLiu, Z=rp00750en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1177/0959683610378881en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-79954623003en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros193858en_US
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-79954623003&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume21en_HK
dc.identifier.issue3en_HK
dc.identifier.spage409en_HK
dc.identifier.epage416en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000289462200003-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_HK
dc.relation.projectInvestigation of Late Holocene Hydrological Changes in Lake Qinghai and Qaidam Basin Using Alkenone D/H Ratios-
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLiu, W=35734284300en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLiu, Z=16177844800en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridAn, Z=17344959000en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridWang, X=8314176600en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridChang, H=36719786700en_HK

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