Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Oct 9;104(41):16200-3. Epub 2007 Oct 3.

Tracing the effects of the Little Ice Age in the tropical lowlands of eastern Mesoamerica.

Author information

1
Instituto de Geología, Instituto de Geofísica, and Posgrado en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México DF, 04510, México. mslozano@servidor.unam.mx

Abstract

The causes of late-Holocene centennial to millennial scale climatic variability and the impact that such variability had on tropical ecosystems are still poorly understood. Here, we present a high-resolution, multiproxy record from lowland eastern Mesoamerica, studied to reconstruct climate and vegetation history during the last 2,000 years, in particular to evaluate the response of tropical vegetation to the cooling event of the Little Ice Age (LIA). Our data provide evidence that the densest tropical forest cover and the deepest lake of the last two millennia were coeval with the LIA, with two deep lake phases that follow the Spörer and Maunder minima in solar activity. The high tropical pollen accumulation rates limit LIA's winter cooling to a maximum of 2 degrees C. Tropical vegetation expansion during the LIA is best explained by a reduction in the extent of the dry season as a consequence of increased meridional flow leading to higher winter precipitation. These results highlight the importance of seasonal responses to climatic variability, a factor that could be of relevance when evaluating the impact of recent climate change.

PMID:
17913875
PMCID:
PMC2000453
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0707896104
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center