Climate change and human activities over the past millennium at Mt. Jeombong, central-eastern Korea
We present a multi-proxy record (pollen, microscopic charcoal, carbon-isotopic composition [δ13C], organic content, and particle size) of the late-Holocene climate change and human impact from central-eastern South Korea. The Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and Little Ice Age (LIA), the most recent major climate events, have not been accurately investigated by paleolimnological studies in Korea, mainly due to a lack of undisturbed sediments and indifference to the past climate change. Our pollen records show late- Holocene centennial climate variations characterized by the successive solar minimums of the Oort, Wolf, Spörer, Maunder, and Dalton. We find paleoenvironmental evidence for shifting cultivation associated with serious droughts and consequent famines during the early 19th-century Dalton minimum. Our interpretation of human activities is well supported by Korean historical documents describing socioeconomic suffering induced by LIA climate deteriorations.
KeywordsMedieval Climate Anomaly Little Ice Age late Holocene human impact solar minimums climate change Korea
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