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Marine sediments remotely unveil long-term climatic variability over Northern Italy
Taricco, C.; Alessio, S.; Rubinetti, R.; Zanchettin, D.; Cosoli, S.; Gacic, M.; Mancuso, S.; Rubino, A. (2015). Marine sediments remotely unveil long-term climatic variability over Northern Italy. NPG Scientific Reports 5(12111 ): 9 pp.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Taricco, C.
  • Alessio, S.
  • Rubinetti, R.
  • Zanchettin, D.
  • Cosoli, S.
  • Gacic, M.
  • Mancuso, S.
  • Rubino, A.

    A deep understanding of natural decadal variability is pivotal to discuss recently observed climate trends. Paleoclimate proxies allow reconstructing natural variations before the instrumental period. Typically, regional-scale reconstructions depend on factors like dating, multi-proxy weighting and calibration, which may lead to non-robust reconstructions. Riverine records inherently integrate information about regional climate variability, partly overcoming the above mentioned limitation. The Po River provides major freshwater input to Eastern Mediterranean, as its catchment encompasses a large part of Northern Italy. Here, using historical discharge data and oceanographic measurements, we show that Po River discharge undergo robust decadal fluctuations that reach the Ionian Sea, ~1,000?km South of Po River delta, through propagating salinity anomalies. Based on this propagation, we use a high-resolution foraminiferal d18O record from a sediment core in the Ionian Sea to reconstruct North Italian hydrological variability on millennial-scale for the first time. The reconstruction reveals highly significant decadal variability that persists over the last 2,000 years. Many reconstructed extremes correspond to documented catastrophic events. Our study provides the first millennial-scale reconstruction of the strength of decadal hydrological variability over Northern Italy. It paves the way to assess the persistence of large-scale circulation fingerprints on the North Italian climate.

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