University of Oulu

Camuera, J., Ramos-Román, M.J., Jiménez-Moreno, G. et al. Past 200 kyr hydroclimate variability in the western Mediterranean and its connection to the African Humid Periods. Sci Rep 12, 9050 (2022).

Past 200 kyr hydroclimate variability in the western Mediterranean and its connection to the African Humid Periods

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Author: Camuera, Jon1,2; Ramos-Román, María J.1; Jiménez-Moreno, Gonzalo3;
Organizations: 1Department of Geography and Geosciences, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2Andalusian Earth Sciences Institute (IACT, CSIC-UGR), Armilla, Granada, Spain
3Department of Stratigraphy and Paleontology, Faculty of Science, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
4Research Centre for Ecological Change, Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
5Natural Resources Institute Finland, Oulu, Finland
6Research Unit of Mathematical Sciences, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
7Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (IPE-CSIC), Zaragoza, Spain
8Department of Ecology, Faculty of Biology, Philipps-Marburg University, Marburg, Germany
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-07-14


The Iberian Peninsula is located at the intersection between the subtropical and temperate climate zones and the paleoclimate records from this region are key to elucidate the varying humidity and changing dominance of atmospheric circulation patterns in the Mediterranean-North African region in the past. Here we present a quantitative hydroclimate reconstruction for the last ca. 200 kyr from southern Iberian Peninsula based on pollen data from the Padul lake sediment record. We use the newly developed Scale-normalized Significant Zero crossing (SnSiZer) method to detect not only the statistically significant precipitation changes but also to estimate the relative magnitude of these oscillations in our reconstruction. We identify six statistically significant main humid phases, termed West Mediterranean Humid Periods (WMHP 1–6). These humid periods correlate with other West/Central Mediterranean paleohydrological records, suggesting that similar climatic factors affected different areas of the Mediterranean. In addition, the WMPHs are roughly coeval with the African Humid Periods (AHPs) during high seasonality, suggesting the same North Atlantic ocean-atmospheric dynamics and orbital forcing as main drivers of both areas. In contrast, during low seasonality periods, the West Mediterranean still appears to be affected by the westerlies and the local Mediterranean rainfall systems with moderate-to-high precipitation, whereas West Africa was characterized by droughts.

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Series: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
ISSN-E: 2045-2322
ISSN-L: 2045-2322
Volume: 12
Issue: 1
Article number: 9050
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-12047-1
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: This research is funded by the Academy of Finland (GRASS, project number 1316702), the European Research Council (YMPACT, project number 788616), the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain (projects CGL2013-47038-R, CGL2015-69160-R and CGL2017-85415-R), the Junta de Andalucía FEDER (projects P-20-00059 and UGR-FEDER B-RNM-144-UGR18) and the research groups RNM-190 (Junta de Andalucía) and E02-20R (Gobierno de Aragón). G.G.-R. acknowledges the funding received from the German Research Foundation–DFG–program (project FOR2358 "Mountain Exile Hypothesis").
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