Climate variability of the last 1000 years in the NW Pacific: high resolution, multi-biomarker records from Lake Toyoni

McColl, Jill Louise (2016) Climate variability of the last 1000 years in the NW Pacific: high resolution, multi-biomarker records from Lake Toyoni. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The East Asian Monsoon (EAM) is an active component of the global climate system and has a profound social and economic impact in East Asia and its surrounding countries. Its impact on regional hydrological processes may influence society through industrial water supplies, food productivity and energy use. In order to predict future rates of climate change, reliable and accurate reconstructions of regional temperature and rainfall are required from all over the world to test climate models and better predict future climate variability.
Hokkaido is a region which has limited palaeo-climate data and is sensitive to climate change. Instrumental data show that the climate in Hokkaido is influenced by the East Asian Monsoon (EAM), however, instrumental data is limited to the past ~150 years. Therefore down-core climate reconstructions, prior to instrumental records, are required to provide a better understanding of the long-term behaviour of the climate drivers (e.g. the EAM, Westerlies, and teleconnections) in this region.
The present study develops multi-proxy reconstructions to determine past climatic and hydrologic variability in Japan over the past 1000 years and aid in understanding the effects of the EAM and the Westerlies independently and interactively. A 250-cm long sediment core from Lake Toyoni, Hokkaido was retrieved to investigate terrestrial and aquatic input, lake temperature and hydrological changes over the past 1000-years within Lake Toyoni and its catchment using X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) data, alkenone palaeothermometry, the molecular and hydrogen isotopic composition of higher plant waxes (δD(HPW)).
Here, we conducted the first survey for alkenone biomarkers in eight lakes in the Hokkaido, Japan. We detected the occurrence of alkenones within the sediments of Lake Toyoni. We present the first lacustrine alkenone record from Japan, including genetic analysis of the alkenone producer. C37 alkenone concentrations in surface sediments are 18µg C37 g−1 of dry sediment and the dominant alkenone is C37:4. 18S rDNA analysis revealed the presence of a single alkenone producer in Lake Toyoni and thus a single calibration is used for reconstructing lake temperature based on alkenone unsaturation patterns. Temperature reconstructions over the past 1000 years suggest that lake water temperatures varies between 8 and 19°C which is in line with water temperature changes observed in the modern Lake Toyoni. The alkenone-based temperature reconstruction provides evidence for the variability of the EAM over the past 1000 years. The δD(HPW) suggest that the large fluctuations (∼40‰) represent changes in temperature and source precipitation in this region, which is ultimately controlled by the EAM system and therefore a proxy for the EAM system. In order to complement the biomarker reconstructions, the XRF data strengthen the lake temperature and hydrological reconstructions by providing information on past productivity, which is controlled by the East Asian Summer monsoon (EASM) and wind input into Lake Toyoni, which is controlled by the East Asian Winter Monsoon (EAWM) and the Westerlies.
By combining the data generated from XRF, alkenone palaeothermometry and the δD(HPW) reconstructions, we provide valuable information on the EAM and the Westerlies, including; the timing of intensification and weakening, the teleconnections influencing them and the relationship between them. During the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), we find that the EASM dominated and the EAWM was suppressed, whereas, during the Little Ice Age (LIA), the influence of the EAWM dominated with time periods of increased EASM and Westerlies intensification. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) significantly influenced the EAM; a strong EASM occurred during El Niño conditions and a strong EAWM occurred during La Niña. The North Atlantic Oscillation, on the other hand, was a key driver of the Westerlies intensification; strengthening of the Westerlies during a positive NAO phase and weakening of the Westerlies during a negative NAO phase. A key finding from this study is that our data support an anti-phase relationship between the EASM and the EAWM (e.g. the intensification of the EASM and weakening of the EAWM and vice versa) and that the EAWM and the Westerlies vary independently from each other, rather than coincide as previously suggested in other studies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Biomarkers, alkenones, climate.
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Funder's Name: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Supervisor's Name: Toney, Dr. Jaime
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Miss Jill McColl
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7793
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2016 09:52
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2016 10:11

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