Articles | Volume 14, issue 8
Clim. Past, 14, 1195–1212, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-14-1195-2018

Special issue: “Global Challenges for our Common Future: a paleoscience perspective”...

Clim. Past, 14, 1195–1212, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-14-1195-2018

Research article 15 Aug 2018

Research article | 15 Aug 2018

Drought and vegetation change in the central Rocky Mountains and western Great Plains: potential climatic mechanisms associated with megadrought conditions at 4200 cal yr BP

Vachel A. Carter et al.

Data sets

Physical Sciences Division of NOAA, NOAA/NCDC monthly/seasonal mean time series from US Climate Division Dataset NOAA https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/timeseries/

North American regional analysis F. Mesinger, G. DiMego, E. Kalnay, K. Mitchell, P. C. Shafran, W. Ebisuzaki, D. Jovi\'{c}, J. Woollen, E. Rogers, E. H. Berbery, M. B. Ek, Y. Fan, R. Grumbine, W. Higgins, H. Li, Y. Lin, G. Manikin, D. Parrish, and W. Shi https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-87-3-343

Climate variability and fire effects on quaking aspen in the central Rocky Mountains V. A. Carter, A. Brunelle, T. A. Minckley, J. D. Shaw, R. J. DeRose, and S. Brewer https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.12932

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Short summary
Between 4200 and 4000 cal yr BP, paleoecological evidence suggests a megadrought occurred in the central Rocky Mountains and western Great Plains. Modern climate analogues were used to explore potential climate mechanisms responsible for the ecological changes. Analogues illustrate that warm and dry conditions persisted through the growing season as a result of anomalously higher-than-normal heights centred over the Great Plains which suppressed moisture transport to the region.