A sediment core from Lake Barkol located in the eastern Xinjiang autonomous region, northwest China, provided a high-resolution record of environmental change covering the last ~8. 6 cal ka BP. Three major climate stages, 8. 6-7. 1, 7. 1-2. 0 and from 2. 0 cal ka BP to the present, were divided by grain size and the authigenic carbonate stable isotope of the lake sediment. Climatic drought during the period 7. 1-4. 5 cal ka BP, deduced from Lake Barkol, prevailed in the mid-Holocene climate in northern Xinjiang and northwest Mongolia. In contrast, it was wet in central Xinjiang, northwest India and the Middle East during the same period. The climatic difference between northern and southern arid central Asia demonstrates the southward shifting of the Westerlies, which indicates the potential contribution of the Siberian high in the mid-Holocene.
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Acknowledgments This research was jointly supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) (2010CB950202) and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation under grants 2012M511992. We thank Laurence Smith for language correction and helpful remarks.
- Climate change
- Grain size
- Lake Barkol
- Stable isotope