Die ereignisreiche Dürregeschichte Chinas: Solare Schwankungen und pazifische Ozeanzyklen ließen den Regen tanzen

Bei jeder Dürre dasselbe: Stets gibt es einen Klimaktivisten, der einen Zusammenhang mit dem menschengemachten Klimawandel sieht und eine Abkehr vom frevelhaften Tun fordert. Dies begründet sich allerdings vor allem auf einer klimahistorischen Kurzsicht. Würden sich die Damen und Herren Aktivisten ein wenig mehr für die Geschichte des Klimas interessieren, würde ihnen ihr Denkfehler sofort auffallen.

Im heutigen Blogbeitrag wollen wir uns um die Dürregeschichte Chinas kümmern, die aufgrund einer Vielzahl von neuen Studien immer besser bekannt wird. Beginnen wir im Norden Chinas. Chen et al. (2014) beschrieben in Global and Planetary Change die Dürren auf dem Löss Plateau während der vergangenen 250 Jahre auf Basis von Baumringen. Das Resultat: Trocken- und Feuchtphasen wechselten stets ab. Ein stabiles Hydroklima hat es nie gegeben und ist auch für die Zukunft nicht anzunehmen. Antrieb der Schwankungen ist der PDO-Ozeanzyklus sowie Änderungen asiatischen Sommermonsun. Abstract:

A tree-ring based drought reconstruction (AD 1760–2010) for the Loess Plateau and its possible driving mechanisms
We have developed a 272-year ring-width chronology of Chinese pine (Pinus tabulaeformis) growing in the Huanglong Mountains, North China. Climatic response analyses revealed that mean January–July Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) has positive effect on the radial growth of pine trees. Based on the relationships, the mean January–July PDSI was reconstructed for the period from 1760 to 2010. The percentage of variance in the data explained by the reconstruction was 41% during the calibration period of 1950–2010. Spatial correlation analyses between the PDSI reconstruction and gridded PDSI data show that the PDSI reconstruction captures regional drought variations over the environmentally-sensitive area linked to the East Asian summer monsoon. Relatively wet periods are identified for AD 1766–1781, 1795–1804, 1811–1821, 1838–1859, 1884–1889, 1909–1914, 1937–1977 and 2003–2008. Dry conditions prevailed during AD 1760–1765, 1782–1794, 1805–1810, 1822–1837, 1860–1883, 1890–1908, 1915–1936, 1978–2002 and 2009–now. There is a reasonable agreement with dry/wet periods previously estimated from tree-ring data of the Kongtong Mountains of the Loess Plateau. Spatial correlation analyses with sea surface temperature in the Pacific Ocean and tropical Indian Ocean indicated that the Asian summer monsoon circulations play a role in modulating drought variations in the study area whereas the effects of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation are relatively strong.

Bleiben wir in Nordchina. Li et al. 2016 veröffentlichten in Dendrochronologia eine ähnliche Baumringstudie zum Fen River. Wiederum scheinen Ozeanzyklen im Pazifik verantwortlich zu zeichnen für die natürliche Variabilität der Regenfälle:

Tree-ring-based reconstruction of drought variability (1792–2011) in the middle reaches of the Fen River, North China
We developed a tree-ring chronology based on 52 ring-width series from 25 Pinus tabulaeformis trees at Tianlong Mountain (TLM) using the signal-free method. TLM is located in the middle reaches of the Fen River, North China, and is influenced by the East Asian monsoon system. Tree growth was highly correlated (0.789) with the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) from May to July and indicated a drought-stress growth pattern. Therefore, we developed a robust May-July PDSI reconstruction for 1792–2011 that explained 62.3% of the instrumental variance for 1951–2005. Severe drought years determined by the reconstruction are consistent with conditions reported in historical documents. The TLM PDSI reconstruction was consistent with other tree-ring-based hydroclimate reconstructions in North China; thus, it may accurately represent dry/wet changes that occur over a large area. Cyclical spectral peaks at 2–8 years in the reconstructed PDSI may indicate ENSO activity, as suggested by the positive correlation with the western Pacific sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) and the negative correlation with the eastern Pacific SSTs on the inter-annual scale.

Weiter mit Cai et al. 2015 in Paleo3, ebenfalls in Nordchina. Wieder das gleiche Bild: Zyklen im tropischen Westpazifik bestimmen das Dürregeschehen:

Reconstruction of drought variability in North China and its association with sea surface temperature in the joining area of Asia and Indian–Pacific Ocean
Using tree-ring data from the northernmost marginal area of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) in North China, May–July mean Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) was reconstructed back to 1767 AD. The reconstruction captured 52.8% of the variance over the calibration period from 1945 to 2005 AD and showed pronounced pluvial periods during 1850–1905, 1803–1811 and 1940–1961 and dry periods during 1814–1844, 1916–1932 and 1984–2012. These anomalous periods have previously been reported in other parts of North China. Spatial correlation analyses and comparisons with other hydroclimatic indices in North China indicated that our new PDSI reconstruction could represent spatial and temporal drought variability in this region well. Our work also suggested that the drying tendency currently observed in the northern part of North China (including the study area) is consistent with the weakening of the EASM. Meanwhile the drying trend was seemingly restrained at present in the southern part of North China. Spatial correlation patterns with global sea surface temperature (SST) indicated that the regional hydroclimatic variability in North China was tightly linked to SST over the joining area of Asia and Indian–Pacific Ocean (AIPO), especially over the tropical western Pacific. When SST from prior November to current July (NJ-SST) in the AIPO area was anomalously high (low), the thermal contrast between Asian land and ocean was weakened (strengthened), and the EASM was correspondingly weakened (strengthened), thereby causing droughts (pluvials) in North China. The results of this study do not only provide useful information for assessing the long-term climate change in North China, but also suggest that abnormal variability in NJ-SST over the AIPO area could be used to forecast hydroclimatic conditions in North China.

Und nun zu Yang et al. 2015, immer noch in Nordchina. Die Gruppe dokumentierte eine intensive Dürrephase vor 4200 Jahren, die es in sich hatte. Pressemitteilung der Baylor University vom 16. Februar 2015:

Study Sheds Light on How Populations Respond and Adapt to Climate Change

Using a relatively new scientific dating technique, a Baylor University geologist and a team of international researchers were able to document—for the first time—a drastic climate change 4,200 years ago in northern China that affected vegetation and led to mass migration from the area.

Steve Forman, Ph.D., professor of geology in the College of Arts & Sciences, and researchers—using a dating technique called Optically Stimulated Luminescence—uncovered the first evidence of a severe decrease in precipitation on the freshwater lake system in China’s Hunshandake Sandy Lands. The impact of this extreme climate change led to desertification—or drying of the region—and the mass migration of northern China’s Neolithic cultures. Their research findings appear in the January 2015 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and are available online.

“With our unique scientific capabilities, we are able to assert with confidence that a quick change in climate drastically changed precipitation in this area, although, further study needs to be conducted to understand why this change occurred,” Forman said. Between 2001 and 2014, the researchers investigated sediment sections throughout the Hunshandake and were able to determine that a sudden and irreversible shift in the monsoon system led to the abrupt drying of the Hunshandake resulting in complications for the population. “This disruption of the water flow significantly impacted human activities in the region and limited water availability. The consequences of a rapid climatic shift on the Hunshandake herding and agricultural cultures were likely catastrophic,” Forman said.

He said these climatic changes and drying of the Hunshandake continue to adversely impact the current population today. The Hunshandake remains arid and even with massive rehabilitation efforts will unlikely regrow dense vegetation. “This study has far-reaching implications for understanding how populations respond and adapt to drastic climate change,” Forman said. Forman is the director of the Geoluminescence Dating Research Lab in the department of geology.

Nochmal Nordchina, diesmal Li et al. 2014 in den Geophysical Research Letters. Sie fanden, dass die Wüstengebiete damals viel kleiner waren als heute, weil die Temperaturen höher als heute waren und der ostasiatische Sommermonsun verstärkt wurde:

Distribution and vegetation reconstruction of the deserts of northern China during the mid-Holocene
Desertification is potentially a serious threat to society, and therefore, it is critical to understand how deserts may respond to future climate change. The mid-Holocene (6 ± 0.5 14C ka) was warmer than present, and the distribution of deserts at this time may have implications for understanding their response to future warming. Here we reconstruct the distribution of deserts in northern China during the mid-Holocene by combining data on vegetation type and the sedimentary facies of aeolian deposits. The results demonstrate that during the mid-Holocene, the deserts retreated northwestward to the location of the modern 300 mm isohyet. Most of the Eastern Desert was stabilized with steppe or forest-steppe vegetation, whereas the Western Desert exhibited no significant change and remained mobile, occupied by desert vegetation. The deserts in northern China were greatly reduced during the mid-Holocene because of the enhancement of the East Asian summer monsoon in a warmer climate than today.

Jetzt ein wenig weiter nach Westen, nach Nordwest China. Lee et al. 2015 beschrieben in The Holocene den engen Zusammenhang der dortigen Dürren mit den pazifischen Ozeanzyklen:

Reconstruction of the geographic extent of drought anomalies in northwestern China over the last 539 years and its teleconnection with the Pacific Ocean
Recent paleo-climatic/environmental studies have resulted in several high-resolution paleo-precipitation/moisture reconstructions in Northwestern (NW) China over extended periods. Nevertheless, those reconstructions are mostly about the climatic history of individual sites, while fine-grained portrayal and analysis of the geographic extent of drought anomalies across the entire NW China are still missing. We based our study on the dryness/wetness grade series of 19 sites in NW China, which are primarily derived from historical documents, to reconstruct the annual geographic extent of drought anomalies in NW China in AD 1470–2008. Our reconstruction reveals the following periods of drought in NW China: the AD 1470s–1490s, 1620s–1640s, 1700s–1720s, 1770s–1790s, 1860s–1870s, and 1910s–1930s. The most extremely dry years were AD 1928 and 1929. In addition, we found that the influence of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on the geographic extent of drought anomalies in NW China was non-stationary at the inter-annual to multi-decadal timescale and that the correlation switched from positive to negative since the late ‘Little Ice Age’. We propose that this non-stationary relationship is attributable to the variance of ENSO and the strength of Asian Summer Monsoon. To conclude, we discuss the implications of the above findings within the context of global warming.

Auch in Nordostchina war der Monsunregen nicht stabil, wie das Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (Columbia University) am 6. Februar 2017 mitteilte:

Shifting Monsoon Altered Early Cultures in China, Study Says

The annual summer monsoon that drops rain onto East Asia, an area with about a billion people, has shifted dramatically in the distant past, at times moving northward by as much as 400 kilometers and doubling rainfall in that northern reach. The monsoon’s changes over the past 10,000 years likely altered the course of early human cultures in China, say the authors of a new study.

Researchers from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Xi’an studied ancient water levels for Lake Dali, a closed-basin lake in Inner Mongolia in the northeast of China. They found that the lake was six times larger and water levels were 60 meters higher than present during the early and middle Holocene — the period beginning about 11,700 years ago, and encompassing the development of human civilization. “I think it is important to emphasize that these spatial fluctuations in the monsoon drive large changes in northern China,” said Yonaton Goldsmith, a graduate student at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and lead author of the paper. “When the monsoon is strong, it shifts northward and northern China becomes green. When the monsoon is weak, the monsoon stays in the south and northern China dries out. Such large fluctuations must have altered the ecosystems in northern China dramatically.”

The study, appearing this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also ties the shifting monsoon to changes in Earth’s orbit and other periodic changes in the climate system. The study should help scientists understand how the monsoon is affected by those natural cycles, and how a changing climate today might influence the monsoon in the future. Goldsmith said it’s still unclear how the monsoon will react to global warming. One view is that the monsoon should grow stronger, but the area studied has been drying out over recent decades, he said, “so there is still a lot that needs to be done in that region before we can get definitive answers.”

Dali Lake is located near the northwestern limit of the East Asian monsoon, and so would reflect the changes brought about when the monsoon shifted north. The researchers studied outcrops of sediments left behind when the lake was far larger, and used those and other markers to construct a timeline of lake levels, and the fluctuation of rainfall over millennia. They found that the lake reached peak levels around 123,000 years ago, again around 58,000 years ago, and once more between 11,000 and 5,500 years ago. They tie the periodic increases in rainfall to the range of the monsoon shifting north by as much as 400 kilometers. The lake record is “highly correlated” with measurements taken earlier from cave deposits in both northern and southern China.

Between 5,500 and 5,000 years ago, the monsoon weakened and rainfall over northern China decreased by 50 percent, the researchers found. They speculate that this drying triggered a major cultural transition in the region. As they describe it, two early Neolithic societies, the Hongshan culture in North China and the Yangshao culture in central China, collapsed around 5,000 years ago. In central China, the following period saw the rise of more stratified and socially and politically complex societies, including the Longshan culture. Previously unoccupied areas on the eastern margin of the Tibetan plateau were populated. Meanwhile, northeast China experienced a sharp population decline, represented by the Xiaoheyan culture. “These findings show that climate change can have dramatic effects on human societies and highlight the necessity to understand the effect of global warming on rainfall patterns in China and all over the world,” the authors write.

Intense variations in rainfall may have played a role in the collapse of other civilizations. A study led by Lamont scientist Brendan Buckley, published several years ago, suggested that extended drought coupled with changes in the monsoon could have doomed Cambodia’s ancient Khmer civilization at Angkor nearly 600 years ago. Drought is thought to have played a role in the decline of the Classic Maya civilization, too, though in that case, another Lamont study suggests that the Maya themselves contributed to the drought by clearing forests for cities and crops. The Lake Dali paper’s other authors are Wallace S. Broecker, Pratigya J. Polissar and Peter B. deMenocal of Lamont-Doherty; Hai Xu, Jianghu Lan, Peng Cheng, Weijian Zhou and Zhisheng An of the State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences; and Naomi Porat of the Geological Survey of Israel.

This work was supported by a Gary Comer Science and Education Foundation grant to Yonaton Goldsmith and Pratigya J. Polissar; Columbia’s Center for Climate and Life; the National Basic Research Program of China Grant 2013CB955900; the External Cooperation Program of Bureau of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Sciences Grant 132B61KYSB20130003; and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Contribution no. 8084.

Journal: Yonaton Goldsmith, Wallace S. Broecker, Hai Xu, Pratigya J. Polissar, Peter B. deMenocal, Naomi Porat, Jianghu Lan, Peng Cheng, Weijian Zhou, Zhisheng An. Northward extent of East Asian monsoon covaries with intensity on orbital and millennial timescales. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017; 201616708 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1616708114

Hier noch der Abstract der Studie von Goldsmith et al. 2017:

Northward extent of East Asian monsoon covaries with intensity on orbital and millennial timescales
The magnitude, rate, and extent of past and future East Asian monsoon (EAM) rainfall fluctuations remain unresolved. Here, late Pleistocene–Holocene EAM rainfall intensity is reconstructed using a well-dated northeastern China closed-basin lake area record located at the modern northwestern fringe of the EAM. The EAM intensity and northern extent alternated rapidly between wet and dry periods on time scales of centuries. Lake levels were 60 m higher than present during the early and middle Holocene, requiring a twofold increase in annual rainfall, which, based on modern rainfall distribution, requires a ∼400 km northward expansion/migration of the EAM. The lake record is highly correlated with both northern and southern Chinese cave deposit isotope records, supporting rainfall “intensity based” interpretations of these deposits as opposed to an alternative “water vapor sourcing” interpretation. These results indicate that EAM intensity and the northward extent covary on orbital and millennial timescales. The termination of wet conditions at 5.5 ka BP (∼35 m lake drop) triggered a large cultural collapse of Early Neolithic cultures in north China, and possibly promoted the emergence of complex societies of the Late Neolithic.

Jetzt nach Zentralchina und Yin et al. 2014 (Climate of the Past). Ein Höhlentropfstein registrierte dort starke Schwankungen in den Niederschlägen während der letzten drei Jahrhunderte. Regenreiche Phasen ereigneten sich während Zeiten hoher solarer Aktivivität, die den Sommermonsun intensivierten:

Variation in the Asian monsoon intensity and dry–wet conditions since the Little Ice Age in central China revealed by an aragonite stalagmite
We present a highly precise, 230Th / U-dated, 1.5-year resolution δ18O record of an aragonite stalagmite (LHD1) collected from Lianhua Cave in the Wuling Mountain area of central China. The comparison of the δ18O record with the local instrumental record and historical documents indicates that (1) the stalagmite δ18O record reveals variations in the summer monsoon intensity and dry–wet conditions in the Wuling Mountain area. (2) A stronger East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) enhances the tropical monsoon trough controlled by ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone), which produces higher spring quarter rainfall and isotopically light monsoonal moisture in the central China. (3) The summer quarter/spring quarter rainfall ratio in central China can be a potential indicator of the EASM strength: a lower ratio corresponds to stronger EASM and higher spring rainfall. The ratio changed from <1 to >1 after 1950, reflecting that the summer quarter rainfall of the study area became dominant under stronger influence of the Northwestern Pacific High. Eastern China temperatures varied with the solar activity, showing higher temperatures under stronger solar irradiation, which produced stronger summer monsoons. During Maunder, Dalton and 1900 sunspot minima, more severe drought events occurred, indicating a weakening of the summer monsoon when solar activity decreased on decadal timescales. On an interannual timescale, dry conditions in the study area prevailed under El Niño conditions, which is also supported by the spectrum analysis. Hence, our record illustrates the linkage of Asian summer monsoon precipitation to solar irradiation and ENSO: wetter conditions in the study area under stronger summer monsoon during warm periods, and vice versa. During cold periods, the Walker Circulation will shift toward the central Pacific under El Niño conditions, resulting in a further weakening of Asian summer monsoons.

Und nun nach Ostchina und Peng et al. 2014 (Climate of the Past). Auch dort scheinen Dürren durch Schwankungen der Sonnenaktivität ausgelöst woden zu sein:

Modeling of severe persistent droughts over eastern China during the last millennium
We use proxy data and modeled data from 1000 year model simulations with a variety of climate forcings to examine the occurrence of severe event of persistent drought over eastern China during the last millennium and diagnose the mechanisms. Results show that the model was able to roughly simulate most of these droughts over the study area during the last millennium such as those that occurred during the periods of 1123–1152, 1197–1223, 1353–1363, 1428–1449, 1479–1513, and 1632–1645. Our analyses suggest that these six well-captured droughts may caused by the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) weakening. Study on the wavelet transform and spectral analysis reveals these events occurred all at the statistically significant 15–35-year timescale. A modeled data intercomparison suggests the possibility that solar activity may be the primary driver in the occurrence of the 1129–1144, 1354–1365, 1466–1491 and 1631–1648 droughts as identified by the model. However another possibility that these events may be related to internal variability cannot be excluded. Although the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) plays an important role in monsoon variability, a temporally consistent relationship between the droughts and SST pattern in the Pacific Ocean could not be found either in the modeled or proxy data. Our analyses also indicate that large volcanic eruptions play a role as an amplifier in the drought of 1631–1648 and caused the droughts of 1830–1853 and 1958–1976, which was identified by the model.

Das Vulkanthema in Ostchina griffen auch Zhuo et al. 2014 im Journal of Geophysical Research auf. Im Anschluss an einen Ausbruch trocknete das Klima in der Region für ein bis vier Jahre aus:

Proxy evidence for China’s monsoon precipitation response to volcanic aerosols over the past seven centuries
The effect of volcanic aerosols on China’s monsoon precipitation over the past 700 years has been studied using two independently compiled histories of volcanism combined with the Monsoon Asia Drought Atlas. For both reconstructions, four categories of eruptions are distinguished based on the character of their Northern Hemisphere (NH) injection; then Superposed Epoch Analysis (SEA) with a 10,000 Monte Carlo resampling procedure is undertaken for each category and also each individual grid. Results show a statistically significant (at 90% confidence level) drying trend over mainland China from year 1 to year 4 after the eruptions, and the more sulfate aerosol that is injected into the NH stratosphere, the more severe this drying trend. In comparison, a minor wetting trend is observed in the years following Southern Hemisphere-only injections. Results from spatial distribution of the SEA show (1) a southward movement of the significant dry areas in eastern China from year 0 to year 2 after volcanic perturbations that are either equal to or double the size of the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption (15 T sulfate aerosols in NH) and (2) northeast and northwest China experienced substantial droughts in years 2 to 5. These results are in good agreement with a SEA analysis of the Chinese Historical Drought Disaster Index compiled from historical meteorological records. Our findings illustrate the important role stratospheric aerosols have played in altering China’s precipitation during the summer monsoon season and can shed new light on the possible effects that stratospheric geoengineering may have on China’s precipitation.

Siehe auch Bericht auf Eos zur Arbeit.

Nächste Etappe ist Südostchina mit Cai et al. 2014 (Climate of the Past). Wieder Baumringe, wieder ein Lössplateau. Das 19. Jahrhundert war der trockenste Zeitraum der letzten 300 Jahre. Dürren im Zeitraum 1993-2008 bewegten sich noch voll und ganz im Bereich der natürlichen Hydroklimavariabilität. Als Antrieb der Schwankungen benennen die Autoren Änderungen in der Sonnenaktivität und Ozeanzyklen:

Reconstruction of the March–August PDSI since 1703 AD based on tree rings of Chinese pine (Pinus tabulaeformis Carr.) in the Lingkong Mountain, southeast Chinese loess Plateau
We utilised tree-ring cores, collected from three sites at Lingkong Mountain located in the southeast part of the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP), to develope a regional ring-width chronology. Significant positive correlations between the tree-ring index and the monthly Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) were identified, indicating that the radial growth of trees in this region was moisture-limited. The March–August mean PDSI was quantitatively reconstructed from 1703 to 2008 with an explained variance of 46.4%. Seven dry periods during 1719–1726, 1742–1748, 1771–1778, 1807–1818, 1832–1848, 1867–1932 and 1993–2008 and six wet periods during 1727–1741, 1751–1757, 1779–1787, 1797–1805, 1853–1864 and 1934–1957 were revealed in our reconstruction. Among them, 1867–1932 and 1934–1957 were identified as the longest dry and wet periods, respectively. On the centennial scale, the 19th century was recognised as the driest century. The drying tendency since 1960s was evident. However, recent drought in 1993–2008 was still within the frame of natural climate variability based on the 306 yr PDSI reconstruction. The dry and wet phases of Lingkong Mountain were in accordance with changes in the summer Asian-Pacific oscillation (IAPO) and sunspot numbers, they also showed strong similarity to other tree-ring based moisture indexes in large areas in and around the CLP, indicating the moisture variability in the CLP was almost synchronous and closely related with large-scale land–ocean–atmospheric circulation and solar activity. Spatial correlation analysis suggested that this PDSI reconstruction could represent the moisture variations for most parts of the CLP, and even larger area of northern China and east Mongolia. Multi-taper spectral analysis revealed significant cycles at the inter-annual (2–7 yr), inter-decadal (37.9 yr) and centennial (102 yr) scales. Results of this study are very helpful for us to improve the knowledge of past climate change in the CLP and enable us to prevent and manage future natural disasters.

Wir sind in Westchina angekommen, von wo Lei et al. 2014 in The Holocene eine Studie zu den letzten zweieinhalb Jahrtausenden publizierte. Das Klima war auf dem Pamir Plateau während dieser Zeit überwiegend trocken, mit Ausnahme der Kleinen Eiszeit. Ursache sind wohl Verschiebungen in der Stärke und Lage der Westwinde.

A 2540-year record of moisture variations derived from lacustrine sediment (Sasikul Lake) on the Pamir Plateau
Although the Pamir Plateau is an ideal place to investigate paleo-environmental changes in the westerlies-dominated high Central Asia, there are only few Holocene records from this region. We present a sub-centennially resolved lacustrine record of moisture variations from Sasikul Lake, central Pamir Plateau, based on geochemical, sedimentological, and mineralogical proxies. Our results show that generally dry conditions at Sasikul Lake during the past 2540 years were interrupted by a pronounced wet period between ad 1550 and 1900, corresponding to the ‘Little Ice Age’ (LIA). More negative values of carbonate δ18O, lower total inorganic carbon (TIC) and sand content during the LIA all indicate a relatively wet period with higher lake level. Higher TIC during the ‘Medieval Warm Period’ (MWP; ad 950–1200) reveals a lower lake level relative to the LIA. Low δ18O during this time is probably attributed to changes in the isotopic composition of input water and/or upstream moisture sources. The significant increase in detrital minerals and decrease in carbonate during the LIA provide further evidence for higher allochthonous input during the wet period at Sasikul Lake. The inferred moisture variations are consistent with existing records from regions of the northern Tibetan Plateau and Central Asia that are also influenced by the westerlies, but out-of-phase with those records from the Asian monsoon region, indicating that moisture variations at Sasikul Lake were mainly influenced by the strength and trajectories of the westerlies. The inferred water level at Sasikul Lake decreased significantly during the first half of the 20th century, and then increased in recent decades. This is consistent with the increase in lake area derived from satellite images and the monitoring data of large lake-level changes in Central Asia.

Zu guter letzt noch eine gute Nachricht: Die Klimaerwärmung könnte das Dürrerisiko senken, da man damit rechnet, das sich der Monsun nach Norden verschiebt. Die South China Morning Post berichtete am 16. Oktober 2015:

Global warming may help alleviate China’s drought and flooding problems as monsoons move north, scientists say
Water-starved northern China could benefit as the thermal equator moves northward, bringing seasonal Asian rains upcountry, team finds

Weiterlesen in der South China Morning Post