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New Zealand and UK Holocene flooding demonstrates interhemispheric climate asynchrony

Mark G. Macklin, Ian C. Fuller, Anna F. Jones and Mark Bebbington
New Zealand and UK Holocene flooding demonstrates interhemispheric climate asynchrony
Geology (Boulder) (June 2012) 40 (9): 775-778


The timing and controls of interhemispheric Holocene climate change have remained poorly understood, primarily because of the absence of well-dated and continuous climatic records in terrestrial environments. Here we report a new probability-based meta-analysis of 1185 (super 14) C dates from fluvial sedimentary sequences in New Zealand and the UK, which provides a robust means of identifying centennial- and multicentennial-length episodes of Holocene river flooding. Statistical analysis shows that prior to large-scale human impact, which began at ca. 1000 cal. yr B.P., the incidence of extreme floods in New Zealand and the UK has been largely asynchronous during the Holocene. Major periods of flooding are controlled by large-scale shifts in atmospheric circulation, which alter the frequency of extreme precipitation events. Our novel synthesis demonstrates that short-term climate change, of sufficient magnitude to modify flooding regimes, was out of phase in the temperate maritime regions of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres during much of the Holocene. This supports recent evidence from both glacial and marine records that Holocene climate changes may have been antiphased between the polar regions and that this could have been related to variation in the strength of deep water formation.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 40
Serial Issue: 9
Title: New Zealand and UK Holocene flooding demonstrates interhemispheric climate asynchrony
Affiliation: Aberystwyth University, Institute of Geography & Earth Sciences, Ceredigion, United Kingdom
Pages: 775-778
Published: 20120629
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 29
Accession Number: 2012-073177
Categories: Quaternary geologyGeochronology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2012221; accessed on July 30, 2012
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sketch map
Source Medium: WWW
S47°30'00" - S34°30'00", E166°30'00" - E178°30'00"
N50°00'00" - N61°00'00", W08°00'00" - E02°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Massey University, NZL, New Zealand
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201238
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