Research Article

Tropical Climate Instability: The Last Glacial Cycle from a Qinghai-Tibetan Ice Core

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Science  20 Jun 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5320, pp. 1821-1825
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5320.1821

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An ice core record from the Guliya ice cap on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau provides evidence of regional climatic conditions over the last glacial cycle. 36Cl data suggest that the deepest 20 meters of the core may be more than 500,000 years old. The δ18O change across Termination I is ∼5.4 per mil, similar to that in the Huascarán (Peru) and polar ice cores. Three Guliya interstadials (Stages 3, 5a, and 5c) are marked by increases in δ18O values similar to that of the Holocene and Eemian (∼124,000 years ago). The similarity of this pattern to that of CH4 records from polar ice cores indicates that global CH4 levels and the tropical hydrological cycle are linked. The Late Glacial Stage record contains numerous 200-year oscillations in δ18O values and in dust, NH4 +, and NO3 levels.

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