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Andean drought and glacial retreat tied to Greenland warming during the last glacial period

Woods, Arielle and Rodbell, Donald T. and Abbott, Mark B. and Hatfield, Robert G. and Chen, Christine Y. and Lehmann, Sophie B. and McGee, David and Weidhaas, Nicholas C. and Tapia, Pedro M. and Valero-Garcés, Blas L. and Bush, Mark B. and Stoner, Joseph S. (2020) Andean drought and glacial retreat tied to Greenland warming during the last glacial period. Nature Communications, 11 . Art. No. 5135. ISSN 2041-1723. PMCID PMC7552390. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-19000-8.

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Abrupt warming events recorded in Greenland ice cores known as Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) interstadials are linked to changes in tropical circulation during the last glacial cycle. Corresponding variations in South American summer monsoon (SASM) strength are documented, most commonly, in isotopic records from speleothems, but less is known about how these changes affected precipitation and Andean glacier mass balance. Here we present a sediment record spanning the last ~50 ka from Lake Junín (Peru) in the tropical Andes that has sufficient chronologic precision to document abrupt climatic events on a centennial-millennial time scale. DO events involved the near-complete disappearance of glaciers below 4700 masl in the eastern Andean cordillera and major reductions in the level of Peru’s second largest lake. Our results reveal the magnitude of the hydroclimatic disruptions in the highest reaches of the Amazon Basin that were caused by a weakening of the SASM during abrupt arctic warming. Accentuated warming in the Arctic could lead to significant reductions in the precipitation-evaporation balance of the southern tropical Andes with deleterious effects on this densely populated region of South America.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemData CentralArticle
Woods, Arielle0000-0002-5297-0733
Abbott, Mark B.0000-0002-0299-928X
Hatfield, Robert G.0000-0002-6372-0027
Chen, Christine Y.0000-0002-9580-6925
Lehmann, Sophie B.0000-0001-8853-0257
McGee, David0000-0002-7329-3428
Tapia, Pedro M.0000-0002-0708-4468
Valero-Garcés, Blas L.0000-0003-2214-7057
Bush, Mark B.0000-0001-6894-8613
Additional Information:© The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit Received 04 February 2020; Accepted 25 September 2020; Published 12 October 2020. We recognize the late G.O. Seltzer for his seminal work on the Junín Plain. We are grateful to Lake Junín Drilling Project members for their contributions to fieldwork and data collection, the International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP) for financial and logistical support, and DOSECC Exploration Services and Geotec Peru for drilling expertise. We thank LacCore for access to facilities, core curation, XRF analyses, and data management. This research was supported by grant 02–2012 from the ICDP and awards EAR-1404113 (Abbott), EAR-1402076 (Rodbell), EAR-1400903 (Stoner), EAR-1404414 (McGee), and EAR-1402054 (Bush) from the U.S. National Science Foundation Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change Program. Data availability: All data sets generated during the current study are available on the NOAA World Data Service for the Paleoclimatology archive at Author Contributions: D.T.R. and M.B.A. conceived the study. A.W., D.T.R., and M.B.A. wrote the manuscript. A.W. performed radiocarbon analyses and data interpretation. A.W., D.T.R., M.B.A., R.G.H., C.Y.C., N.C.W., and P.M.T. contributed to the fieldwork campaign. A.W., D.T.R., M.B.A., R.G.H., C.Y.C., S.B.L., D.M., N.C.W., P.M.T., B.L.V.-G., M.B.B., and J.S.S. discussed the results and provided. Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests. Peer review information: Nature Communications thanks Sherilyn Fritz and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work. Peer reviewer reports are available.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP)02-2012
Subject Keywords:Atmospheric science; Limnology; Palaeoclimate
PubMed Central ID:PMC7552390
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201019-104221102
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Woods, A., Rodbell, D.T., Abbott, M.B. et al. Andean drought and glacial retreat tied to Greenland warming during the last glacial period. Nat Commun 11, 5135 (2020).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106145
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Oct 2020 18:30
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:51

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