Cool Glacial Temperatures and Changes in Moisture Source Recorded in Oman Groundwaters

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Science  04 Feb 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5454, pp. 842-845
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5454.842

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Concentrations of atmospheric noble gases (neon, argon, krypton, and xenon) dissolved in groundwaters from northern Oman indicate that the average ground temperature during the Late Pleistocene (15,000 to 24,000 years before present) was 6.5° ± 0.6°C lower than that of today. Stable oxygen and hydrogen isotopic groundwater data show that the origin of atmospheric water vapor changed from a primarily southern, Indian Ocean source during the Late Pleistocene to a dominantly northern, Mediterranean source today. The reduced northern water vapor source is consistent with a drier Last Glacial Maximum through much of northern Africa and Arabia.

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