Holocene climate variability archived in the Puruogangri ice cap on the central Tibetan Plateau

  • Thompson L
  • Yao T
  • Davis M
 et al. 
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Two ice cores (118.4 and 214.7 m in length) were collected in 2000 from the Puruogangri ice cap in the center of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) in a joint US-Chinese collaborative project. These cores yield paleoclimatic and environmental records extending through the Middle Holocene, and complement previous ice-core histories from the Dunde and Guliya ice caps in northeast and northwest Tibet, respectively, and Dasuopu glacier in the Himalaya. The high-resolution Puruogangri climate record since AD 1600 details regional temperature and moisture variability. The post-1920 period is characterized by above-average annual net balance, contemporaneous with the greatest 18O enrichment of the last 400 years, consistent with the isotopically inferred warming observed in other TP ice-core records. On longer timescales the aerosol history reveals large and abrupt events, one of which is dated ∼4.7 kyr BP and occurs close to the time of a drought that extended throughout the tropics and may have been associated with centuries-long weakening of the Asian/Indian/African monsoon system. The Puruogangri climate history, combined with the other TP ice-core records, has the potential to provide valuable information on variations in the strength of the monsoon across the TP during the Holocene.

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  • Lonnie G. Thompson

  • Tandong Yao

  • Mary E. Davis

  • Ellen Mosley-Thompson

  • Tracy A. Mashiotta

  • Ping Nan Lin

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