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Mid-Pliocene Asian Monsoon Intensification And The Onset Of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation

Date:
July 2, 2009
Source:
Geological Society of America
Summary:
The late Pliocene onset of major Northern Hemisphere glaciation is one of the most important steps in the Cenozoic global cooling. Although most attempts have been focused on high-latitude climate feedbacks, no consensus has been reached in explaining the forcing mechanism of this dramatic climate change.

The late Pliocene onset of major Northern Hemisphere glaciation (NHG) is one of the most important steps in the Cenozoic global cooling. Although most attempts have been focused on high-latitude climate feedbacks, no consensus has been reached in explaining the forcing mechanism of this dramatic climate change.

In a new study published in the journal Geology, Zhang et al. present a key low-latitude climate record, the high-resolution Asian monsoon precipitation variability for the past five million years, reconstructed from South China Sea sediments. Their results, with supporting evidence from other records, indicate significant mid-Pliocene Asian monsoon intensification, preceding the initiation of NHG at about 2.7 million years ago. The correlation between the monsoon record and marine calcium isotopes indicates that the 1.4-million-year-long monsoon intensification probably enhanced Asian continental erosion and chemical weathering.

Elevated chemical weathering and organic carbon burial probably lowered the contemporary atmospheric CO2, and the CO2 drop may have triggered the NHG onset as suggested by a recent study. As opposed to previous studies, here Zhang et al. propose a low-latitude-driven NHG glaciation scenario.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Geological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yi Ge Zhang, Junfeng Ji, William Balsam, Lianwen Liu, and Jun Chen. Mid-Pliocene Asian monsoon intensification and the onset of Northern Hemisphere glaciation. Geology, 2009; DOI: 10.1130/G25670A.1

Cite This Page:

Geological Society of America. "Mid-Pliocene Asian Monsoon Intensification And The Onset Of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630203041.htm>.
Geological Society of America. (2009, July 2). Mid-Pliocene Asian Monsoon Intensification And The Onset Of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630203041.htm
Geological Society of America. "Mid-Pliocene Asian Monsoon Intensification And The Onset Of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630203041.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

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