Catastrophic drought in East Asian monsoon region during Heinrich event 1

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Abstract

Heinrich event 1 (H1) is an important millennial climate event during the last deglaciation. The substantial decreasing of monsoon strength in the East Asian monsoon region during the H1, as shown by stalagmite δ18O records, has been attributed to the southward shift of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), which is caused by the slowdown/collapse of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). However, records from different Asian monsoon regions show various trends in precipitation changes during the H1, and these trends cannot be solely interpreted by the southward shift of the ITCZ. In the present study, we reconstructed time-series of East Asian monsoon precipitation between 25,000 and 10,000 a BP from floodplain sediments in the Huai River Basin. A white sediment layer, distinct from other layers in the profile, contains significantly low TOC, tree pollen and fern spore contents, and more positive δ13Corg, and it is deposited during the H1 event. The determined TOC, pollen and δ13Corg time-series, together with previously reported stalagmite δ18O, indicate a catastrophic (severe) drought in Jianghuai Region, one of the East Asian monsoon regions, during the H1. The La Niña condition in tropical Pacific likely also contributes to the catastrophic drought in Jianghuai Region and the precipitation variations in the Asian monsoon region during the H1.

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Zhou, X., Sun, L., Chu, Y., Xia, Z., Zhou, X., Li, X., … Wang, Y. (2016). Catastrophic drought in East Asian monsoon region during Heinrich event 1. Quaternary Science Reviews, 141, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.03.029

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