High-resolution summer precipitation variations in the western Chinese Loess Plateau during the last glacial

Zhiguo Rao, Fahu Chen, Hai Cheng, Weiguo Liu, Guo'An Wang, Zhongping Lai, Jan Bloemendal

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We present a summer precipitation reconstruction for the last glacial (LG) on the western edge of the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) using a well-dated organic carbon isotopic dataset together with an independent modern process study results. Our results demonstrate that summer precipitation variations in the CLP during the LG were broadly correlated to the intensity of the Asian summer monsoon (ASM) as recorded by stalagmite oxygen isotopes from southern China. During the last deglaciation, the onset of the increase in temperatures at high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere and decline in the intensity of the East Asia winter monsoon in mid latitudes was earlier than the increase in ASM intensity and our reconstructed summer precipitation in the western CLP. Quantitative reconstruction of a single paleoclimatic factor provides new insights and opportunities for further understanding of the paleoclimatic variations in monsoonal East Asia and their relation to the global climatic system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2785
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2010CB950202), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40901055 and 41171091), and the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (No. NCET-10-0468). We thank X.Q. Lee for sharing the organic carbon isotopic data of surface soils from arid Central Asia and J.H. Chen for the assistance in uncertainty estimation in precipitation reconstruction.


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