Ecological and hydroclimate responses to strengthening of the Hadley circulation in South America during the Late Miocene cooling

Barbara Carrapa, Mark Clementz, Ran Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Near-modern ecosystems were established as a result of rapid ecological adaptation and climate change in the Late Miocene. On land, Late Miocene aridification spread in tandem with expansion of open habitats including C4 grassland ecosystems. Proxy records for the central Andes spanning the Late Miocene cooling (LMC) show the reorganization of subtropical ecosystems and hydroclimate in South America between 15 and 35°S. Continental pedogenic carbonates preserved in Neogene basins record a general increase of δ18O and δ13C values from pre-LMC to post-LMC, most robustly occurring in the subtropics (25 to 30°S), suggesting aridification and a shift toward a more C4-plant-dominated ecosystem. These changes are closely tied to the enhancement of the Hadley circulation and moisture divergence away from the subtropics toward the Intertropical Convergence Zone as revealed by climate model simulations with prescribed sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) reflecting different magnitudes of LMC steepening of equator-to-pole temperature gradient and CO2 decline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9747-9752
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume116
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - May 14 2019

Keywords

  • Andes
  • Hadley circulation
  • Late Miocene cooling
  • South America
  • Stable isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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