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Holocene Environmental Change in the Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau Region: Lake Sediments and the Future

  • J. Overpeck
  • K. B. Liu
  • C. Morrill
  • J. Cole
  • C. Shen
  • D. Anderson
  • L. Tang
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 23)

Abstract

The South Asian Monsoon system is one of the most important and influential of the Earth’s major climate systems. The people of the most heavily populated Asian countries have adapted many aspects of their society to the subtleties of the monsoon rains, and are thus highly susceptible to small changes in the timing and intensity of monsoon precipitation. A monsoon failure can have disastrous effects, and flooding related to extreme monsoon rains has proven to be one of the most deadly of natural catastrophes (e.g. in Bangladesh, China, India and Nepal). These vulnerabilities are likely to increase in the future with continued population growth, intensified land-use and sea-level rise. Although there is a growing effort to improve seasonal to interannual monsoon prediction skills via new research, the largest threats to human health and livelihood could come from unanticipated decade- and longer-scale extremes in monsoon. A major goal of this paper is to summarize the state-of-the-art regarding century to millennium-scales of monsoon variability, and to identify the paleoenvironmental research that is most urgently needed in the Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau if society is to be served effectively in the 21st century.

Keywords

Geochemistry Lakes Monsoon Paleoclimate Pollen Tibet 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Overpeck
    • 1
  • K. B. Liu
    • 2
  • C. Morrill
    • 3
  • J. Cole
    • 4
  • C. Shen
    • 2
  • D. Anderson
    • 5
  • L. Tang
    • 6
  1. 1.Institute for the Study of Planet Earth and Department of GeosciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography and AnthropologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  3. 3.National Center for Atmospheric ResearchBoulderUSA
  4. 4.Department of GeosciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  5. 5.National Geophysical Data CenterBoulderUSA
  6. 6.Nanjing Institute of Geology and PaleontologyAcademia SinicaNanjingChina

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