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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 06 Jul 2018

Research article | 06 Jul 2018

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

Pollen-based temperature and precipitation changes in the Ohrid Basin (western Balkans) between 160 and 70 ka

Gaia Sinopoli1,2,3, Odile Peyron3, Alessia Masi1, Jens Holtvoeth4, Alexander Francke5,6, Bernd Wagner5, and Laura Sadori1 Gaia Sinopoli et al.
  • 1Dipartimento di Biologia Ambientale, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
  • 2Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
  • 3Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution de Montpellier, University of Montpellier, CNRS, IRD, EPHE, Montpellier, France
  • 4Organic Geochemistry Unit, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  • 5Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • 6Wollongong Isotope Geochronology Laboratory, School of Earth and Envi ronmental Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

Abstract. Our study aims to reconstruct climate changes that occurred at Lake Ohrid (south-western Balkan Peninsula), the oldest extant lake in Europe, between 160 and 70ka (covering part of Marine Isotope Stage – "MIS" - 6 and all of MIS 5). A multi-method approach, including the "Modern Analogues Technique" and the "Weighted Averaging Partial Least-Squares Regression", is applied to the high-resolution pollen sequence of the DEEP site, collected from the central part of Lake Ohrid, to provide quantitative estimates of climate and bioclimate parameters. This allows us to document climatic change during the key periods of MIS 6 and MIS 5 in South Europe, a region where accurate climate reconstructions are still lacking for this time interval.

Our results for the penultimate glacial show cold and dry conditions, while the onset of the Last Interglacial is characterized by wet and warm conditions, with temperatures higher than today (by ca. 2°C). The Eemian in the Balkans was not a stable phase and a climatic tri-partition, with an initial phase of abrupt warming (128–121ka), a central phase with decreasing temperatures associated to wet conditions (121–118ka), followed by a phase of progressive change towards cold and dry conditions (118–112ka), is evident.

After the Eemian, an alternation of four warm/wet periods with cold/dry ones, likely related to the succession of Greenland stadials and cold events known from the North Atlantic, occurred. The observed pattern is also consistent with hydrological and isotopic data from the central Mediterranean. The Lake Ohrid climate reconstruction shows greater similarity with climate patterns inferred from northern European pollen records than with southern European ones, which is probably due to its intermediate position and the mountainous setting. However, this hypothesis needs further testing as very few climate reconstructions are available for southern Europe for this key time period.

Gaia Sinopoli et al.
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Gaia Sinopoli et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Climate changes occur today as they occurred in the past. This study deals with climate changes reconstructed at Lake Ohrid (Albania/FYROM) between 160 000 and 70 000 years ago. Climate reconstruction, based on high-resolution pollen study, provides quantitative estimates of past temperature and precipitation. Our data show an alternation of cold/dry and warm/wet periods. The last interglacial appears to be characterized by temperatures higher than nowadays.
Climate changes occur today as they occurred in the past. This study deals with climate changes...