Past 200 kyr hydroclimate variability in the western Mediterranean and its connection to the African Humid Periods
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Camuera, J... [et al.]. Past 200 kyr hydroclimate variability in the western Mediterranean and its connection to the African Humid Periods. Sci Rep 12, 9050 (2022). [https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-12047-1]
SponsorshipAcademy of Finland (GRASS) 1316702; European Research Council (YMPACT) 788616; Spanish Government CGL2013-47038-R CGL2015-69160-R CGL2017-85415-R; Junta de Andalucia European Commission P-20-00059 B-RNM-144-UGR18; Junta de Andalucia RNM-190; Gobierno de Aragon E02-20R; German Research Foundation (DFG) FOR2358
The Iberian Peninsula is located at the intersection between the subtropical and temperate climate zones and the paleoclimate records from this region are key to elucidate the varying humidity and changing dominance of atmospheric circulation patterns in the Mediterranean-North African region in the past. Here we present a quantitative hydroclimate reconstruction for the last ca. 200 kyr from southern Iberian Peninsula based on pollen data from the Padul lake sediment record. We use the newly developed Scale-normalized Significant Zero crossing (SnSiZer) method to detect not only the statistically significant precipitation changes but also to estimate the relative magnitude of these oscillations in our reconstruction. We identify six statistically significant main humid phases, termed West Mediterranean Humid Periods (WMHP 1–6). These humid periods correlate with other West/ Central Mediterranean paleohydrological records, suggesting that similar climatic factors affected different areas of the Mediterranean. In addition, the WMPHs are roughly coeval with the African Humid Periods (AHPs) during high seasonality, suggesting the same North Atlantic ocean-atmospheric dynamics and orbital forcing as main drivers of both areas. In contrast, during low seasonality periods, the West Mediterranean still appears to be affected by the westerlies and the local Mediterranean rainfall systems with moderate-to-high precipitation, whereas West Africa was characterized by droughts.