A 22,000-year record of monsoonal precipitation from northern chile's atacama desert

J. L. Betancourt, C. Latorre, J. A. Rech, Jay Quade, K. A. Rylander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

225 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fossil rodent middens and wetland deposits from the central Atacama Desert (22°to 24°S) indicate increasing summer precipitation, grass cover, and groundwater levels from 16.2 to 10.5 calendar kiloyears before present (ky B.P.). Higher elevation shrubs and summer-flowering grasses expanded downslope across what is now the edge of Absolute Desert, a broad expanse now largely devoid of rainfall and vegetation. Paradoxically, this pluvial period coincided with the summer insolation minimum and reduced adiabatic heating over the central Andes. Summer precipitation over the central Andes and central Atacama may depend on remote teleconnections between seasonal insolation forcing in both hemispheres, the Asian monsoon, and Pacific sea surface temperature gradients. A less pronounced episode of higher groundwater levels in the central Atacama from 8 to 3 ky B.P. conflicts with an extreme lowstand of Lake Titicaca, indicating either different climatic forcing or different response times and sensitivities to climatic change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1542-1546
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume289
Issue number5484
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2000

Fingerprint

desert
summer
insolation
grass
midden
groundwater
lowstand
teleconnection
temperature gradient
rodent
flowering
monsoon
shrub
sea surface temperature
wetland
fossil
heating
rainfall
climate change
vegetation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

A 22,000-year record of monsoonal precipitation from northern chile's atacama desert. / Betancourt, J. L.; Latorre, C.; Rech, J. A.; Quade, Jay; Rylander, K. A.

In: Science, Vol. 289, No. 5484, 01.09.2000, p. 1542-1546.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Betancourt, JL, Latorre, C, Rech, JA, Quade, J & Rylander, KA 2000, 'A 22,000-year record of monsoonal precipitation from northern chile's atacama desert', Science, vol. 289, no. 5484, pp. 1542-1546. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.289.5484.1542
Betancourt, J. L. ; Latorre, C. ; Rech, J. A. ; Quade, Jay ; Rylander, K. A. / A 22,000-year record of monsoonal precipitation from northern chile's atacama desert. In: Science. 2000 ; Vol. 289, No. 5484. pp. 1542-1546.
@article{58935c8a9e7d435f964ebf67cefd489a,
title = "A 22,000-year record of monsoonal precipitation from northern chile's atacama desert",
abstract = "Fossil rodent middens and wetland deposits from the central Atacama Desert (22°to 24°S) indicate increasing summer precipitation, grass cover, and groundwater levels from 16.2 to 10.5 calendar kiloyears before present (ky B.P.). Higher elevation shrubs and summer-flowering grasses expanded downslope across what is now the edge of Absolute Desert, a broad expanse now largely devoid of rainfall and vegetation. Paradoxically, this pluvial period coincided with the summer insolation minimum and reduced adiabatic heating over the central Andes. Summer precipitation over the central Andes and central Atacama may depend on remote teleconnections between seasonal insolation forcing in both hemispheres, the Asian monsoon, and Pacific sea surface temperature gradients. A less pronounced episode of higher groundwater levels in the central Atacama from 8 to 3 ky B.P. conflicts with an extreme lowstand of Lake Titicaca, indicating either different climatic forcing or different response times and sensitivities to climatic change.",
author = "Betancourt, {J. L.} and C. Latorre and Rech, {J. A.} and Jay Quade and Rylander, {K. A.}",
year = "2000",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1126/science.289.5484.1542",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "289",
pages = "1542--1546",
journal = "Science",
issn = "0036-8075",
publisher = "American Association for the Advancement of Science",
number = "5484",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A 22,000-year record of monsoonal precipitation from northern chile's atacama desert

AU - Betancourt, J. L.

AU - Latorre, C.

AU - Rech, J. A.

AU - Quade, Jay

AU - Rylander, K. A.

PY - 2000/9/1

Y1 - 2000/9/1

N2 - Fossil rodent middens and wetland deposits from the central Atacama Desert (22°to 24°S) indicate increasing summer precipitation, grass cover, and groundwater levels from 16.2 to 10.5 calendar kiloyears before present (ky B.P.). Higher elevation shrubs and summer-flowering grasses expanded downslope across what is now the edge of Absolute Desert, a broad expanse now largely devoid of rainfall and vegetation. Paradoxically, this pluvial period coincided with the summer insolation minimum and reduced adiabatic heating over the central Andes. Summer precipitation over the central Andes and central Atacama may depend on remote teleconnections between seasonal insolation forcing in both hemispheres, the Asian monsoon, and Pacific sea surface temperature gradients. A less pronounced episode of higher groundwater levels in the central Atacama from 8 to 3 ky B.P. conflicts with an extreme lowstand of Lake Titicaca, indicating either different climatic forcing or different response times and sensitivities to climatic change.

AB - Fossil rodent middens and wetland deposits from the central Atacama Desert (22°to 24°S) indicate increasing summer precipitation, grass cover, and groundwater levels from 16.2 to 10.5 calendar kiloyears before present (ky B.P.). Higher elevation shrubs and summer-flowering grasses expanded downslope across what is now the edge of Absolute Desert, a broad expanse now largely devoid of rainfall and vegetation. Paradoxically, this pluvial period coincided with the summer insolation minimum and reduced adiabatic heating over the central Andes. Summer precipitation over the central Andes and central Atacama may depend on remote teleconnections between seasonal insolation forcing in both hemispheres, the Asian monsoon, and Pacific sea surface temperature gradients. A less pronounced episode of higher groundwater levels in the central Atacama from 8 to 3 ky B.P. conflicts with an extreme lowstand of Lake Titicaca, indicating either different climatic forcing or different response times and sensitivities to climatic change.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0034284880&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0034284880&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1126/science.289.5484.1542

DO - 10.1126/science.289.5484.1542

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0034284880

VL - 289

SP - 1542

EP - 1546

JO - Science

JF - Science

SN - 0036-8075

IS - 5484

ER -