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XJTU researchers make strides in reconstructing Holocene climate change

August 07, 2023
  L M S

Tian Ye, a doctoral candidate at Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU)'s Institute of Global Environmental Change, recently published a paper as the lead author in the journal Nature Communications.

The paper is titled "Holocene Climate Change in Southern Oman Deciphered by Speleothem Records and Climate Model Simulations." Professor Cheng Hai from the institute was a corresponding author for the paper. This represents another significant advancement in the work of Professor Cheng Hai's team.

Various individuals and teams from institutions such as the University of Basel in Switzerland, Stockholm University in Sweden, Pusan National University in South Korea, the Institute of Earth Environment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen University, and Nanjing Normal University, all provided research support for this work.

The institute used stalagmites from the Qunf Cave in southern Oman to conduct a multi-proxy study, including the oxygen isotope ratios of carbonates, as well as various indicators like uranium content and carbon isotopes.

This research was combined with climate model simulations using EC-Earth to reconstruct climate changes during the Holocene – a geological epoch that began roughly 11,700 years before 2000 CE – as well as Indian monsoon variability in southern Oman.

The results indicate that, in addition to the Indian summer monsoon, the North African summer monsoon also contributed water vapor to southern Oman during the early to middle Holocene.

The stalagmite carbon and oxygen isotope ratios from Qunf Cave do not merely reflect the amount of monsoon rainfall, as was previously understood, but rather signify changes in the distance of moisture sources driven by large-scale circulation patterns.

Meanwhile, the multi-proxy records from Qunf Cave stalagmites reflect the transition from arid to humid conditions in the study area during the Holocene, a pattern confirmed by climate model simulations. This differs from previous understandings and provides new insights for research in this region.