Climate variability over the last 35,000 years recorded in marine and terrestrial archives in the Australian region : an OZ-INTIMATE compilation

Reeves, Jessica M., Barrows, Timothy T., Cohen, Timothy J., Kiem, Anthony S., Bostock, Helen C., Fitzsimmons, Kathryn E., Jansen, John D., Kemp, Justine, Krause, Claire, Petherick, Lynda, & Phipps, Steven J. (2013) Climate variability over the last 35,000 years recorded in marine and terrestrial archives in the Australian region : an OZ-INTIMATE compilation. Quaternary Science Reviews, 74, pp. 21-34.

View at publisher

Abstract

The Australian region spans some 60° of latitude and 50° of longitude and displays considerable regional climate variability both today and during the Late Quaternary. A synthesis of marine and terrestrial climate records, combining findings from the Southern Ocean, temperate, tropical and arid zones, identifies a complex response of climate proxies to a background of changing boundary conditions over the last 35,000 years. Climate drivers include the seasonal timing of insolation, greenhouse gas content of the atmosphere, sea level rise and ocean and atmospheric circulation changes. Our compilation finds few climatic events that could be used to construct a climate event stratigraphy for the entire region, limiting the usefulness of this approach. Instead we have taken a spatial approach, looking to discern the patterns of change across the continent. The data identify the clearest and most synchronous climatic response at the time of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) (21 ± 3 ka), with unambiguous cooling recorded in the ocean, and evidence of glaciation in the highlands of tropical New Guinea, southeast Australia and Tasmania. Many terrestrial records suggest drier conditions, but with the timing of inferred snowmelt, and changes to the rainfall/runoff relationships, driving higher river discharge at the LGM. In contrast, the deglaciation is a time of considerable south-east to north-west variation across the region. Warming was underway in all regions by 17 ka. Post-glacial sea level rise and its associated regional impacts have played an important role in determining the magnitude and timing of climate response in the north-west of the continent in contrast to the southern latitudes. No evidence for cooling during the Younger Dryas chronozone is evident in the region, but the Antarctic cold reversal clearly occurs south of Australia. The Holocene period is a time of considerable climate variability associated with an intense monsoon in the tropics early in the Holocene, giving way to a weakened monsoon and an increasingly El Niño-dominated ENSO to the present. The influence of ENSO is evident throughout the southeast of Australia, but not the southwest. This climate history provides a template from which to assess the regionality of climate events across Australia and make comparisons beyond our region. The data identify the clearest and most synchronous climatic response at the time of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) (21 ± 3 ka), with unambiguous cooling recorded in the ocean, and evidence of glaciation in the highlands of tropical New Guinea, southeast Australia and Tasmania. Many terrestrial records suggest drier conditions, but with the timing of inferred snowmelt, and changes to the rainfall/runoff relationships, driving higher river discharge at the LGM. In contrast, the deglaciation is a time of considerable south-east to north-west variation across the region. Warming was underway in all regions by 17 ka. Post-glacial sea level rise and its associated regional impacts have played an important role in determining the magnitude and timing of climate response in the north-west of the continent in contrast to the southern latitudes. No evidence for cooling during the Younger Dryas chronozone is evident in the region, but the Antarctic cold reversal clearly occurs south of Australia. The Holocene period is a time of considerable climate variability associated with an intense monsoon in the tropics early in the Holocene, giving way to a weakened monsoon and an increasingly El Niño-dominated ENSO to the present. The influence of ENSO is evident throughout the southeast of Australia, but not the southwest. This climate history provides a template from which to assess the regionality of climate events across Australia and make comparisons beyond our region.

Impact and interest:

26 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
29 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 62320
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Australia, Tropics, Temperate, Arid zone, Southern Ocean, Last Glacial Maximum, Deglacial period, Holocene, INTIMATE
DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.01.001
ISSN: 0277-3791
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Deposited On: 05 Sep 2013 04:47
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2013 22:45

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page