16 Dec 2022
16 Dec 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Climate transition over the past two centuries revealed by lake Ebinur in Xinjiang, northwest China

Xiaotong Wei1, Hanchao Jiang1, Hongyan Xu1, Yumei Li1,2, Wei Shi1, Qiaoqiao Guo1, and Siqi Zhang1 Xiaotong Wei et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Earthquake Dynamics, Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100029, China
  • 2Development Research Center of China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100036, China

Abstract. Global climate has undergone dramatic changes over the past 200 years, accurately identifying the climate transition and its controlling factors will help to address the risks posed by global warming and predict future climate trends. To clarify climate change over the past 200 years, detailed analyses of chronology, grain size, color reflectance (L*, a*) and carbon content (TOC, TIC) were conducted on a 200-year high resolution (~ 2 a) sedimentary record from lake Ebinur in Xinjiang, northwest China. The results show that the median grain size (Md) of lake sediments ranges from 5.5 μm to 9.9 μm, with a mean value of 7.0 μm. Multi-parameter analysis of grain size suggests that the sediments in lake Ebinur are mainly transported by wind, and there are two kinds of different sources and transport processes: the fine-grained sediments (< 20 μm) are background dust that was transported by long distance high-altitude suspension, while the coarse-grained sediments (> 20 μm) are local and regional dusts that were transported from short distances at low altitudes. Comparative analysis of multi-proxies including grain size、color reflectance and carbon content reveals that 1920 AD is the time point of climate transition in the past 200 years. In the early period (1816–1876 AD), the high C values indicate strong transport dynamics; the high proportion of ultrafine component indicates strong pedogenesis, combined with high organic carbon content and high a* values, it is inferred that the water vapor content is relatively higher. Overall, this period corresponds to the cold and wet climate. In the later period (1920–2019 AD), the proxies show opposite changes, which may reveal a warm and dry climate. Based on a comprehensive analysis of multiple drivers (i.e., solar radiation, greenhouse gases and volcanic eruption), we propose that the increase of solar irradiance in 1920 AD played a dominant role in the Asian climate transition, and that the gradual rise in the concentrations of greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4) may have a positive feedback effect on the climate transition.

Xiaotong Wei et al.

Status: open (until 08 Mar 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2022-92', Anonymous Referee #1, 23 Dec 2022 reply
  • EC1: 'Comment on cp-2022-92', Pierre Francus, 11 Jan 2023 reply

Xiaotong Wei et al.

Xiaotong Wei et al.


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Short summary
Global climate has undergone a transition from cold to warm over the past 200 years. In this study, we present a 200-year high resolution sedimentary record from lake Ebinur in arid Central Asia. Comprehensive analysis of indicators shows that a climate transition in 1920 AD, from cold and wet in the early period (1816–1920 AD) to relatively warm and dry in the late period (1920–2019 AD). Solar radiation drives this climate transition, with greenhouse gases acting as a positive feedback.