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Late-glacial to late-Holocene shifts in global precipitation delta O-18
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
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Number of Authors: 13
2015 (English)In: Climate of the Past, ISSN 1814-9324, E-ISSN 1814-9332, Vol. 11, no 10, 1375-1393 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Reconstructions of Quaternary climate are often based on the isotopic content of paleo-precipitation preserved in proxy records. While many paleo-precipitation isotope records are available, few studies have synthesized these dispersed records to explore spatial patterns of late-glacial precipitation delta O-18. Here we present a synthesis of 86 globally distributed groundwater (n = 59), cave calcite (n = 15) and ice core (n = 12) isotope records spanning the late-glacial (defined as similar to 50 000 to similar to 20 000 years ago) to the late-Holocene (within the past similar to 5000 years). We show that precipitation delta O-18 changes from the late-glacial to the late-Holocene range from -7.1% (delta O-18(late-Holocene) > delta O-18(late-glacial)) to + 1.7% (delta O-18(late-glacial) > delta O-18(late-Holocene)), with the majority (77 %) of records having lower late-glacial delta O-18 than late-Holocene delta O-18 values. High-magnitude, negative precipitation delta O-18 shifts are common at high latitudes, high altitudes and continental interiors (delta O-18(late-Holocene) > delta O-18(late-glacial) by more than 3 %). Conversely, low-magnitude, positive precipitation delta O-18 shifts are concentrated along tropical and subtropical coasts (delta O-18(late-glacial) > delta O-18(late-Holocene) by less than 2 %). Broad, global patterns of late-glacial to late-Holocene precipitation delta O-18 shifts suggest that stronger-than-modern isotopic distillation of air masses prevailed during the late-glacial, likely impacted by larger global temperature differences between the tropics and the poles. Further, to test how well general circulation models reproduce global precipitation delta O-18 shifts, we compiled simulated precipitation delta O-18 shifts from five isotope-enabled general circulation models simulated under recent and last glacial maximum climate states. Climate simulations generally show better intermodel and model-measurement agreement in temperate regions than in the tropics, highlighting a need for further research to better understand how inter-model spread in convective rainout, seawater delta O-18 and glacial topography parameterizations impact simulated precipitation delta O-18. Future research on paleo-precipitation delta O-18 records can use the global maps of measured and simulated late-glacial precipitation isotope compositions to target and prioritize field sites.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 11, no 10, 1375-1393 p.
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Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123870DOI: 10.5194/cp-11-1375-2015ISI: 000364324600008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-123870DiVA: diva2:878348
Available from: 2015-12-08 Created: 2015-12-08 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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Pausata, Francesco S. R.
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