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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Global warming-induced Asian hydrological climate transition across the Miocene-Pliocene boundary.

  • Author(s): Ao, Hong;
  • Rohling, Eelco J;
  • Zhang, Ran;
  • Roberts, Andrew P;
  • Holbourn, Ann E;
  • Ladant, Jean-Baptiste;
  • Dupont-Nivet, Guillaume;
  • Kuhnt, Wolfgang;
  • Zhang, Peng;
  • Wu, Feng;
  • Dekkers, Mark J;
  • Liu, Qingsong;
  • Liu, Zhonghui;
  • Xu, Yong;
  • Poulsen, Christopher J;
  • Licht, Alexis;
  • Sun, Qiang;
  • Chiang, John CH;
  • Liu, Xiaodong;
  • Wu, Guoxiong;
  • Ma, Chao;
  • Zhou, Weijian;
  • Jin, Zhangdong;
  • Li, Xinxia;
  • Li, Xinzhou;
  • Peng, Xianzhe;
  • Qiang, Xiaoke;
  • An, Zhisheng
  • et al.

Across the Miocene-Pliocene boundary (MPB; 5.3 million years ago, Ma), late Miocene cooling gave way to the early-to-middle Pliocene Warm Period. This transition, across which atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased to levels similar to present, holds potential for deciphering regional climate responses in Asia-currently home to more than half of the world's population- to global climate change. Here we find that CO2-induced MPB warming both increased summer monsoon moisture transport over East Asia, and enhanced aridification over large parts of Central Asia by increasing evaporation, based on integration of our ~1-2-thousand-year (kyr) resolution summer monsoon records from the Chinese Loess Plateau aeolian red clay with existing terrestrial records, land-sea correlations, and climate model simulations. Our results offer palaeoclimate-based support for 'wet-gets-wetter and dry-gets-drier' projections of future regional hydroclimate responses to sustained anthropogenic forcing. Moreover, our high-resolution monsoon records reveal a dynamic response to eccentricity modulation of solar insolation, with predominant 405-kyr and ~100-kyr periodicities between 8.1 and 3.4 Ma.

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