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Holocene climatic trends and rhythms in southern Africa

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Part of the Developments in Paleoenvironmental Research book series (DPER,volume 6)

Southern Africa’s unique mid-latitude oceanic position invites broad comparisons with palaeoclimatic records across the PEP III transect including long-distance thermohaline circulation teleconnections. Atmospheric and oceanic circulation systems around Southern Africa (Fig. 1) are linked (Lutjeharms et al. 2001). They interact to influence distribution of biomes including prominence of C4 and C3 grasses in the summer-rain and winter rain regions respectively (Vogel et al. 1978; Cowling et al. 1997) (Fig. 2). Climate is dominated by two systems, the westerlies and easterlies (Fig. 1) and shifts in these systems undoubtedly affected the climate history during the Holocene. The generally moderating effect of the oceans, in particular the warm Agulhas western boundary current on the east coast (Lutjeharms et al. 2001), and the semi-arid nature of the region suggests that moisture rather than temperature changes is the more important climate parameter, at least on the Holocene time scale. Furthermore, the cold Benguela upwelling zone and its associated atmospheric circulation system in the South Atlantic is strongly linked to coastal aridity on the west coast.

Keywords

  • Grass Pollen
  • Pollen Sequence
  • Microscopic Charcoal
  • Millennial Scale
  • Southern AFRICA

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Scott, L., Lee-Thorp, J.A. (2004). Holocene climatic trends and rhythms in southern Africa. In: Battarbee, R.W., Gasse, F., Stickley, C.E. (eds) Past Climate Variability through Europe and Africa. Developments in Paleoenvironmental Research, vol 6. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-2121-3_5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-2121-3_5

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4020-2120-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4020-2121-3

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