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Land surface temperature changes in Northern Iberia since 4000 yr BP, based on δ13C of speleothems



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Martín Chivelet, Javier and Muñoz García, María Belén and Edwards, R. Lawrence and Turrero Jiménez, María Jesús and Ortega Martínez, Ana Isabel (2011) Land surface temperature changes in Northern Iberia since 4000 yr BP, based on δ13C of speleothems. Global and planetary change, 77 . pp. 1-12. ISSN 0921-8181

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Official URL: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/product/cws_home/503335/description


The surface temperature changes for the last 4000 years in northern inland Iberia (an area particularly
sensitive to climate change) are determined by a high resolution study of carbon stable isotope records of
stalagmites from three caves (Kaite, Cueva del Cobre, and Cueva Mayor) separated several tens of kilometers
away in N Spain. Despite the local conditions of each cave, the isotopic series show a good overall coherence,
and resulted to be strongly sensitive to surface temperature changes.
The record reflects alternating warmer and colder intervals, always within a temperature range of 1.6 °C. The
timing and duration of the intervals were provided by 43 230Th–234U (ICP-MS) ages. Main climatic recognized
periods are: (1) 3950–3000 yr BP: warm period punctuated by cool events around ~3950, 3550 and
3250 yr BP; (2) 2850–2500 yr BP cold interval (Iron Age Cold Period); (3) 2500–1650 yr BP moderate warm
period (Roman Warm Period), with maximum temperatures between 2150 and 1750 yr BP; (4) 1650–
1350 yr BP cold interval (Dark Ages Cold Period), with a thermal minimum at ~1500 yr BP; (5) 1350–
750 yr BP warm period (Medieval Warm Period) punctuated by two cooler events at ~1250 and ~850 yr BP;
(6) 750–100 yr BP cold period (Little Ice Age) with extremes occurring at 600–500 yr BP, 350–300 yr BP, and
150–100 yr BP; and (7) the last 150 years, characterized by rapid but no linear warming (Modern Warming).
Remarkably, the presented records allow direct comparison of recent warming with former warm intervals
such as the Roman or the Medieval periods. That comparison reveals the 20th century as the time with highest
surface temperatures of the last 4000 years for the studied area.
Spectral analysis of the time series shows consistent climatic cycles of ~400, ~900 and ~1300 yr, comparable
with those recognized in the North Atlantic marine record, the Greenland ice cores, and other terrestrial
records for the middle–late Holocene, suggesting common climate forcing mechanisms related to changes in
solar irradiance and North Atlantic circulation patterns.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Climate change, Paleoclimate, Speleothem, Stable isotopes Holocene, Iberia
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Stratigraphic geology
ID Code:20326
Deposited On:08 Mar 2013 09:09
Last Modified:11 Dec 2018 08:42

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