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Late Pleistocene temperature history of Southeast Africa: A TEX86 temperature record from Lake Malawi
Woltering, M.; Johnson, T.C.; Werne, J.P.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2011). Late Pleistocene temperature history of Southeast Africa: A TEX86 temperature record from Lake Malawi. Palaeogeogr. Palaeoclimatol. Palaeoecol. 303(1-4): 93-102. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.02.013
In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Elsevier: Amsterdam; Tokyo; Oxford; New York. ISSN 0031-0182, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    TEX86: Crenarchaeotal membrane lipids; Past 75,000 years; East Africa;Climate: temperature reconstruction; Late Pleistocene; Lake Malawi:lacustrine

Authors  Top 
  • Woltering, M.
  • Johnson, T.C.
  • Werne, J.P.
  • Schouten, S., more
  • Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., more

Abstract
    We present a TEX86-derived surface water temperature record for Lake Malawi that provides the first continuous continental record of temperature variability in the continental tropics spanning the past similar to 74 kyr with millennial-scale resolution. Average temperature during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5A was 26.5 degrees C, with a range from 25.7 to 27.3 degrees C, comparable to Holocene temperatures. MIS 4 was a relatively cold period with temperatures generally decreasing from 25.5 degrees C at 68 ka to a minimum of 20 degrees Cat similar to 60 ka, 1.5-2 degrees C colder than the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Termination of MIS 4 is characterized by a rapid increase of 3-4 degrees C in only similar to 0.5 kyr. Temperatures were relatively stable throughout MIS 3 at the resolution of this study, with an average of 23.8 degrees C and a range from 25.1 to 22.9 degrees C. The lack of millennial-scale temperature variability during MIS 3 suggests that Lake Malawi's documented response to the bipolar seesaw (Brown et al., 2007) is not reflected in its thermal history. Our temperature estimates for the LGM and Holocene are consistent with a previously published TEX86 record from Lake Malawi with a temperature of similar to 22.6 degrees C for the LGM, similar to 25-26 degrees C in the mid Holocene and similar to 25-28 for the late Holocene. In general the present extended TEX86 record indicates that temperature variability in tropical East Africa during late MIS 5 and MIS 4 was as great as that associated with the deglaciation and Holocene. A decrease in Southern Hemisphere insolation between 70 and 60 ka may have played an important role in forcing temperatures during MIS 4, but after 60 ka other factors, such as the extent of the polar ice sheets, or atmospheric CO2 may have forced temperature in tropical Africa to a greater extent than local summer insolation.

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