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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2018-147
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2018-147
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Review article 15 Nov 2018

Review article | 15 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

The 4.2 ka BP Event in the Mediterranean Region: an overview

Monica Bini1, Giovanni Zanchetta1, Aurel Persoiu2, Rosine Cartier3, Albert Català4, Isabel Cacho4, Jonathan R. Dean5, Federico Di Rita6, Russell N. Drysdale7, Martin Finnè8, Ilaria Isola9, Bassem Jalali10, Fabrizio Lirer11, Donatella Magri6, Alessia Masi6, Leszek Marks12, Anna Maria Mercuri13, Odile Peyron14, Laura Sadori6, Marie-Alexandrine Sicre10, Fabian Welc15, Christoph Zielhofer16, and Elodie Brisset17 Monica Bini et al.
  • 1Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, University of Pisa
  • 2Emil Racovita Institute of Speleology, Romanian Academy Transylvania, Romania
  • 3Postdoctoral researcher at Lund University Quaternary Sciences, Sweden
  • 4GRC Geociències Marines, Departament de Dinàmica de la Terra i de l'Oceà, Facultat de Geologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
  • 5School of Environmental Sciences, University of Hull, Hull, UK
  • 6Dipartimento di Biologia Ambientale, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy
  • 7School of Geography, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 8Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden and Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 9Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
  • 10LOCEAN Laboratory, Sorbonne Universités (UPMC, Universitè de Paris 06)-CNRS-IRD-MNHN, France
  • 11Instituto per l’Ambiente Marino Costiero–CNR, Naples, Italy
  • 12Faculty of Geology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
  • 13Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università di Reggio Emilia e Modena, Italy
  • 14Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution (ISEM), Université de Montpellier, France
  • 15Institute of Archaeology Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
  • 16Chair of Physical Geography, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany
  • 17IPHES, Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, Tarragona, Spain and Àrea de Prehistòria, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain

Abstract. The Mediterranean region and the Levant have returned some of the clearest evidence of a climatically dry period occurring around 4200 years ago. However, some regional evidence are controversial and contradictory, and issues remain regarding timing, progression and regional articulation of this event. In this paper we review the evidence from selected proxies (sea-surface temperature, precipitation and temperature reconstructed from pollen, δ18O on speleothems, and δ18O on lacustrine carbonate) over the Mediterranean basin to infer possible regional climate patterns during the interval between 4.3 and 3.8calkaBP. The values and limitations of these proxies are discussed, and their potential for furnishing information on seasonality is also explored. Despite the chronological uncertainties, which are the main limitations for disentangling details of the climatic conditions, the data suggests that winter over the Mediterranean was drier condition, in addition to already dry summers. However, some exceptions to this prevail, – where wetter condition seems to have persisted – suggesting regional heterogeneity in climate patterns. Temperature data, even if sparse, also suggest a cooling anomaly, even if this is not uniform. The most common paradigm to interpret the precipitation regime in the Mediterranean – a North Atlantic Oscillation-like pattern – is not completely satisfactory to interpret the selected data.

Monica Bini et al.
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Status: open (until 10 Jan 2019)
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The Mediterranean region has returned some of the clearest evidence of a climatically dry period occurring at ca. 4200 years ago. We reviewed selected proxies to infer regional climate patterns between 4.3 and 3.8 cal ka BP. Temperature data suggest a cooling anomaly, even if this is not uniform, whereas winter was drier along with dry summers. However, some exceptions to this prevail, where wetter condition seems to have persisted, suggesting regional heterogeneity.
The Mediterranean region has returned some of the clearest evidence of a climatically dry period...
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