The climate of the Holocene and its landscape and biotic impacts

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Fritz, Sherilyn C. (2013)

The Holocene Epoch has abundant paleoclimatic archives at relatively high temporal and spatial resolution, which have helped to reveal the patterns of natural climate variation during the present interglacial period and the impacts of that variation on landscapes and biota. This article presents a personal review of some interesting insights that have emerged from analysis of Holocene paleoclimatic records from continental archives at orbital to multidecadal scales. These include how the increased density of sites in Asia, South America and Africa have revealed unforeseen spatial patterns of variation in the dynamics of the monsoon systems at orbital scales and a better characterisation of the magnitude of multidecadal and centennial variation in various parts of the globe. Among interglacial periods, the Holocene is unique as the period in which more complex human civilisations and agriculture developed, and many recent studies have evolved our understanding of the nature of the human impact relative to natural dynamics prior to large-scale population expansion.Keywords: paleoclimate, paleohydrology, paleolimnology, interglacial, Holocene(Published: 10 April 2013)Citation: Tellus B 2013, 65, 20602, http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/tellusb.v65i0.20602This publication is part of a Thematic Cluster with papers presented at a conference held in Stockholm 21 - 23 May 2012, to honor the late Professor Bert Bolin for his outstanding contributions to climate science and his efforts to create a dialogue between policy makers and the scientific community. All papers within the cluster will be published online as soon as they have been accepted for publication. When all papers belonging to the cluster have been published, they will be summarized with a foreword describing the background and scope of the conference.Read the other papers from this thematic cluster here
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