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Duelling narratives of chironomids and pollen explain climate enigmas during The Last Glacial-Interglacial transition in North Island New Zealand

Rees, Andrew B. H. and Holt, Katherine A. and Hinojosa, Jessica L. and Newnham, Rewi M. and Eaves, Shaun and Vandergoes, Marcus J. and Sessions, Alex L. and Wilmshurst, Janet M. (2021) Duelling narratives of chironomids and pollen explain climate enigmas during The Last Glacial-Interglacial transition in North Island New Zealand. Quaternary Science Reviews, 263 . Art. No. 106997. ISSN 0277-3791. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.106997.

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The Last Glacial-Interglacial Transition (LGIT) was a dynamic stage of Earth's history, and the difficulty of reconstructing this complex interval may be compounded by divergent proxy records, often collected from the same archive. To overcome this obstacle, we exploit the contrasting biological preferences of chironomids to both summer temperature and degree days (positive) and pollen to both the length of the growing season (positive) and winter duration (negative), recorded by a small lake in the central North Island of New Zealand. The climate proxy records are anchored to shifting zonal boundaries (e.g., southern westerly wind belt) via the hydrogen isotope ratios of leaf wax n-alkanes (δD_(wax)). These results enable us to interrogate the structure of the LGIT and address two fundamental questions: 1) Is there evidence for Holocene-like temperatures during the early deglacial? and 2) Were early Holocene summers cool? Lake sediment δD_(wax) values indicate a poleward retreat of the westerlies around 18,000 calibrated years before present (cal kyr BP), signalling the onset of climate amelioration for the region. Remarkably, the independently derived summer and mean annual temperature reconstructions are anti-phased. Chironomid-inferred summer temperatures surpass modern values by 17.5 cal kyr BP, whereas pollen-inferred mean annual temperatures remain supressed. Summers cool from 17.5 to 11 cal kyr BP, when they reach a minimum for the record, while winter and mean annual temperatures simultaneously warm to a maximum. The chironomid record generally traces regional insolation, although an Antarctic template imprints on this trend with declining summer temperatures during the Antarctic Cold Reversal (ACR) and warming during the Younger Dryas (YD). Forest development during the early LGIT, on the other hand, is supressed by cool, dry winters, punctuated by severe frosts, despite being set against a backdrop of overall warming; the successional pattern is best explained by a latitudinal retreat of the westerlies. Our findings underscore the complementarity of multiple bioproxy responses and reveal the importance of seasonal heat and energy distribution during the LGIT.

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Rees, Andrew B. H.0000-0003-4026-7765
Sessions, Alex L.0000-0001-6120-2763
Additional Information:© 2021 Elsevier. Received 1 December 2020, Revised 20 May 2021, Accepted 20 May 2021, Available online 7 June 2021. We are very grateful to the indigenous occupants of the area, Ngāti Rangi, for their permission and blessing to access and core Lake Rangatauanui. We thank David Feek, Shane Cronin, Michael Turner, and Anja Moebis for undertaking the coring, and Anja Moebis for generating the EMPA data. We are grateful for the lab work performed by Siwen Wang and supported by Fenfang Wu at Caltech to generate the leaf wax data. We would also like to thank the efforts of our two reviewers, who made this a better manuscript. This work was funded by the Massey University Research Fund (MURF) and NZ Natural Hazards Research Platform through the “Learning to Live with Volcanic Risk” programme. The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Massey UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Natural Hazards Research Platform (New Zealand)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Seasonality; Paleoclimatology; Interglacial; Late pleistocene; Holocene; New Zealand; Chironomids; Pollen; n-Alkanes; Transfer function
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210607-115054814
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Official Citation:Andrew B.H. Rees, Katherine A. Holt, Jessica L. Hinojosa, Rewi M. Newnham, Shaun Eaves, Marcus J. Vandergoes, Alex L. Sessions, Janet M. Wilmshurst, Duelling narratives of chironomids and pollen explain climate enigmas during The Last Glacial-Interglacial transition in North Island New Zealand, Quaternary Science Reviews, Volume 263, 2021, 106997, ISSN 0277-3791,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109419
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:08 Jun 2021 14:09
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 19:36

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