Articles | Volume 7, issue 1
Clim. Past, 7, 299–316, 2011
Clim. Past, 7, 299–316, 2011

Research article 22 Mar 2011

Research article | 22 Mar 2011

Ultra-high resolution pollen record from the northern Andes reveals rapid shifts in montane climates within the last two glacial cycles

M. H. M. Groot1, R. G. Bogotá1,2, L. J. Lourens3, H. Hooghiemstra1, M. Vriend1,†, J. C. Berrio4, E. Tuenter3, J. Van der Plicht5, B. Van Geel1, M. Ziegler3, S. L. Weber3, A. Betancourt1,*, L. Contreras1,*, S. Gaviria6,*, C. Giraldo1,*, N. González1,*, J. H. F. Jansen7,*, M. Konert8,*, D. Ortega1,*, O. Rangel9,*, G. Sarmiento6,*, J. Vandenberghe8,*, T. Van der Hammen10,*,†, M. Van der Linden1,*, and W. Westerhoff11,* M. H. M. Groot et al.
  • 1University of Amsterdam, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2Universidad Distrital, Facultad del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, Bogotá, Colombia
  • 3University of Utrecht, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 4University of Leicester, Department of Geography, Leicester, UK
  • 5University of Groningen, Centre for Isotope Research, Groningen, The Netherlands
  • 6Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Facultad de Sciencias, Depto. de Geosciencias, Bogotá, Colombia
  • 7Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Texel, The Netherlands
  • 8Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Institute of Earth Sciences, Department of Paleoclimatology and Geomorphology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 9Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Bogotá, Colombia
  • 10Fundacion Tropenbos, Bogotá, Colombia
  • 11Deltares, Subsurface and Groundwater Systems, Geological Survey of the Netherlands, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • *Fúquene Project Members
  • deceased

Abstract. Here we developed a composite pollen-based record of altitudinal vegetation changes from Lake Fúquene (5° N) in Colombia at 2540 m elevation. We quantitatively calibrated Arboreal Pollen percentages (AP%) into mean annual temperature (MAT) changes with an unprecedented ~60-year resolution over the past 284 000 years. An age model for the AP% record was constructed using frequency analysis in the depth domain and tuning of the distinct obliquity-related variations to the latest marine oxygen isotope stacked record. The reconstructed MAT record largely concurs with the ~100 and 41-kyr (obliquity) paced glacial cycles and is superimposed by extreme changes of up to 7 to 10° Celsius within a few hundred years at the major glacial terminations and during marine isotope stage 3, suggesting an unprecedented North Atlantic – equatorial link. Using intermediate complexity transient climate modelling experiments, we demonstrate that ice volume and greenhouse gasses are the major forcing agents causing the orbital-related MAT changes, while direct precession-induced insolation changes had no significant impact on the high mountain vegetation during the last two glacial cycles.