Seven Ambiguities in the Mediterranean Palaeoenvironmental Narrative. Tzedakis, P. C. 26(17-18):2042–2066.
Seven Ambiguities in the Mediterranean Palaeoenvironmental Narrative [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
A review of seven outstanding issues on Mediterranean palaeoenvironments is presented. These are related to the dominant orbital pacing of climate variability, the length of the interglacial vegetation succession, the influence of the African summer monsoon, the seasonality of precipitation during boreal insolation maxima, the moisture balance during glacial maxima and the appearance of the mediterranean-type climate rhythm and evolution of mediterranean sclerophyllous plants. What emerges is that (1) marine δ18Oplanktonic and SST records show that precession has been a fundamental tempo of Mediterranean climate change, representing both a low-latitude signal (runoff from North Africa) and the direct influence of insolation at Mediterranean latitudes, but high-latitude glacial effects (41-kyr and 100-kyr cycles) became superimposed after 2.8~Ma. Sapropel and dust deposition patterns in marine cores reveal that obliquity also has an effect on Mediterranean climate through dry-wet oscillations, which are independent of glacial-interglacial variability. (2) The temperate part of interglacial vegetation succession has a duration of approximately half a precession cycle. This persisted during the interval of obliquity-dominated glacial cycles (∼2.8-1~Ma), with distinct forest successions following the precessional cycles. However, these are not always separated by an open vegetation phase because of minimal ice growth, producing an impression of a prolonged interglacial forest interval. (3) The effect of an enhanced African monsoon during summer insolation maxima has been mainly indirect, in terms of Nile discharge and runoff along the North African coast, leading to increased freshwater input into the Mediterranean Sea, reduced deep-water ventilation and sapropel deposition. (4) The notion of an accentuated summer rain regime in the northern Mediterranean borderlands also contributing to a freshening of the Mediterranean Sea during boreal insolation maxima is not supported by the available evidence, which suggests increased summer aridity. (5) Recent improvements in chronological precision and data resolution point to an increase in aridity and decreased temperatures during the Last Glacial Maximum (21±2~ka), but suggest an increase in effective moisture during the immediately preceding interval of 24-27~ka. (6) The mediterranean-type climate is not exclusively a post-3.6~Ma phenomenon, but may have appeared intermittently during the course of the Tertiary (or before). (7) If that is the case, then the paradigm that the sclerophyllous evergreen habit represents a pre-adaptation to summer drought may need re-evaluation.
@article{tzedakisSevenAmbiguitiesMediterranean2007,
  title = {Seven Ambiguities in the {{Mediterranean}} Palaeoenvironmental Narrative},
  author = {Tzedakis, P. C.},
  date = {2007-09},
  journaltitle = {Quaternary Science Reviews},
  volume = {26},
  pages = {2042--2066},
  issn = {0277-3791},
  doi = {10.1016/j.quascirev.2007.03.014},
  url = {https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2007.03.014},
  abstract = {A review of seven outstanding issues on Mediterranean palaeoenvironments is presented. These are related to the dominant orbital pacing of climate variability, the length of the interglacial vegetation succession, the influence of the African summer monsoon, the seasonality of precipitation during boreal insolation maxima, the moisture balance during glacial maxima and the appearance of the mediterranean-type climate rhythm and evolution of mediterranean sclerophyllous plants. What emerges is that (1) marine δ18Oplanktonic and SST records show that precession has been a fundamental tempo of Mediterranean climate change, representing both a low-latitude signal (runoff from North Africa) and the direct influence of insolation at Mediterranean latitudes, but high-latitude glacial effects (41-kyr and 100-kyr cycles) became superimposed after 2.8~Ma. Sapropel and dust deposition patterns in marine cores reveal that obliquity also has an effect on Mediterranean climate through dry-wet oscillations, which are independent of glacial-interglacial variability. (2) The temperate part of interglacial vegetation succession has a duration of approximately half a precession cycle. This persisted during the interval of obliquity-dominated glacial cycles (∼2.8-1~Ma), with distinct forest successions following the precessional cycles. However, these are not always separated by an open vegetation phase because of minimal ice growth, producing an impression of a prolonged interglacial forest interval. (3) The effect of an enhanced African monsoon during summer insolation maxima has been mainly indirect, in terms of Nile discharge and runoff along the North African coast, leading to increased freshwater input into the Mediterranean Sea, reduced deep-water ventilation and sapropel deposition. (4) The notion of an accentuated summer rain regime in the northern Mediterranean borderlands also contributing to a freshening of the Mediterranean Sea during boreal insolation maxima is not supported by the available evidence, which suggests increased summer aridity. (5) Recent improvements in chronological precision and data resolution point to an increase in aridity and decreased temperatures during the Last Glacial Maximum (21±2~ka), but suggest an increase in effective moisture during the immediately preceding interval of 24-27~ka. (6) The mediterranean-type climate is not exclusively a post-3.6~Ma phenomenon, but may have appeared intermittently during the course of the Tertiary (or before). (7) If that is the case, then the paradigm that the sclerophyllous evergreen habit represents a pre-adaptation to summer drought may need re-evaluation.},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-13774257,ambiguity,mediterranean-region,paleoenvironment},
  number = {17-18}
}
Downloads: 0