Holocene Environmental Change in the Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau Region: Lake Sediments and the Future
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.
KeywordsGeochemistry Lakes Monsoon Paleoclimate Pollen Tibet
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- CLIMAS (2002). http://www.ispe.arizona.edu/climas/index.html
- IPCC (2001). Climate change 2001: The scientific basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In J. T. Houghton, Y. Ding, D. J. Griggs, M. Noguer, P. J. van der Linden, X. Dai, K. Maskell, and C. A. Johnson (Eds.), pp. 881. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Overpeck, J., Hughen K., Hardy, D., Bradley, R., Case, R., Douglas, M., Finney, B., Gajewski, K., Jacoby G., Jennings A., Lamoreux, S., Lasca, A., MacDonald, G., Moore, J., Retelle, M., Smith, S., Wolfe, A., and Zielinski, G. (1997). Arctic environmental change of the last four centuries. Science 278, 1251–1256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Overpeck, J., Whitlock, C., and Huntley, B. (2002). “Terrestrial biosphere dynamics in the climate system: Past and future.” In Paleoclimate, global change and the future. (K. Alverson, R. Bradley, and T. Pedersen, Eds.), pp. 81–111. Springer, Berlin.Google Scholar