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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2018-82
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Review article 17 Jul 2018

Review article | 17 Jul 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Climate of the Past (CP) and is expected to appear here in due course.

The 4.2 ka BP event in the Levant

David Kaniewski1,2,3, Nick Marriner4, Rachid Cheddadi5, Joël Guiot6, and Elise Van Campo1,2 David Kaniewski et al.
  • 1Université Paul Sabatier-Toulouse 3, EcoLab (Laboratoire d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement), Bâtiment 4R1, 118 Route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse CEDEX 9, France
  • 2CNRS, EcoLab (Laboratoire d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement), 31062 Toulouse CEDEX 9, France
  • 3Institut Universitaire de France, Secteur Biologie-Médecine-Santé, 103 boulevard Saint Michel, 75005 Paris, France
  • 4CNRS, Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement UMR6249, Université de Franche-Comté, UFR ST, 16 Route de Gray, 25030 Besançon, France
  • 5Université Montpellier II, CNRS-UM2-IRD, ISEM, France
  • 6Aix-Marseille Université, CEREGE, CNRS, UM 34, Europô le de l’Arbois BP80, 13545 Aix-en-Provence, France

Abstract. The 4.2ka BP event is defined as a phase of environmental stress characterized by severe and prolonged drought of global extent. The event is recorded from the North Atlantic through Europe to Asia, leading scientists to evoke a 300-yr global mega-drought. Focusing on the Mediterranean and the Near East, this abrupt climate episode radically altered precipitation, with an estimated 30–50% drop in precipitation in the eastern basin. While many studies reveal similar trends in the northern Mediterranean (from Spain to Turkey and the northern Levant), data from northern Africa and central/southern Levant are more nuanced, suggesting a weaker imprint of this climate shift on the environment and/or different climate patterns. Here, we provide a synthesis of environmental reconstructions for the Levant and show that, while the 4.2ka BP event also corresponds to a drier period, a different climate pattern emerges in the central/southern Levant, with two dry phases framing a wetter period, suggesting a W-shaped event, particularly well defined by records from the Dead Sea area.

David Kaniewski et al.
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
David Kaniewski et al.
David Kaniewski et al.
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Studies have long suggested that a protracted drought phase, termed the 4.2 ka BP event, directly impacted subsistence systems (dry farming agro-production, pastoral nomadism and fishing) and outlying nomad habitats, forcing rain-fed cereal agriculturalists into habitat-tracking when agro-innovations were not available. Here, we focus on this crucial period to probe whether drought was active in the Eastern Mediterranean’s Old World, especially in the Levant.
Studies have long suggested that a protracted drought phase, termed the 4.2 ka BP event,...
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