Temperature and Precipitation Estimates Through the Last Glacial Cycle from Clear Lake, California, Pollen Data

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Science  14 Jan 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4581, pp. 168-170
DOI: 10.1126/science.219.4581.168


Modern pollen surface samples from six lake and marsh sites in the northern California Coast Ranges establish a linear relation between elevation and the oakl(oak + pine) pollen ratio. Modern temperature and precipitation lapse rates were used to convert variations in the pollen ratio into temperature and precipitation changes. Pollen data from two cores from Clear Lake, Lake County, California, spanning the past 40,000 and 130,000 years were used to estimate temperature and precipitation changes through the last full glacial cycle. The maximum glacial cooling is estimated to be 7° to 8°C; the last full interglacial period was about 1.5°C warmer than the Holocene, and a mid-Holocene interval was warmer than the present. The estimated precipitation changes are probably less reliable than the estimated temperature changes.