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Atmospheric methane, southern European vegetation and low-mid latitude links on orbital and millennial timescales

By P.C. Tzedakis, H. Pälike, K.H. Roucoux and L. de Abreau

Abstract

Pollen records from marine and terrestrial sequences in southern Europe reveal a strong coherence between changes in tree populations and atmospheric methane concentrations over the last 800 thousand years. Variations in the continental hydrological balance provide a link for the observed patterns, leading to concomitant changes in southern European vegetation, and low-latitude wetland extent and methane/ volatile organic compound emissions, although additional contributions to the methane budget from extratropical sources are not excluded. Here we propose that the close coupling between low- and mid- latitude hydrological changes reflects shifts in the mean latitudinal position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, which determines the extent to which southern Europe is dominated by subtropical or mid/high- latitude influences. This provides a conceptual framework within which to view vegetation variability in southern Europe on orbital and millennial timescales

Topics: QE
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:64845
Provided by: e-Prints Soton
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