Holocene—Late Pleistocene Climatic Ice Core Records from Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

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Science  27 Oct 1989:
Vol. 246, Issue 4929, pp. 474-477
DOI: 10.1126/science.246.4929.474


Three ice cores to bedrock from the Dunde ice cap on the north-central Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau of China provide a detailed record of Holocene and Wisconsin-Würm late glacial stage (LGS) climate changes in the subtropics. The records reveal that LGS conditions were apparently colder, wetter, and dustier than Holocene conditions. The LGS part of the cores is characterized by more negative δ18O ratios, increased dust content, decreased soluble aerosol concentrations, and reduced ice crystal sizes than the Holocene part. These changes occurred rapidly ∼10,000 years ago. In addition, the last 60 years were apparently one of the warmest periods in the entire record, equalling levels of the Holocene maximum between 6000 and 8000 years ago.

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