Holocene climatic change in Morocco: A quantitative reconstruction from pollen data

R. Cheddadi*, H. F. Lamb, J. Guiot, S. Van Der Kaars

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Annual precipitation, July and January temperatures were reconstructed from a continuous Holocene pollen sequence from the Middle Atlas, Morocco, using the best modern analogues method. The reconstructions show a clear difference between the early and late Holocene: from ~ 10 ka to ~ 6.5 ka the climate was drier and warmer than during the period since 6.5 ka. The average value of annual precipitation was ~ 870 mm until 6.5 ka, then rose to ~ 940 mm. Between 10 ka and 6.5 ka January and July temperatures were about 4 °C higher than the present. Both temperatures show a marked decrease between 7 ka and 6 ka. After 6.5 ka July and January temperatures fluctuated between 21 and 23 °C, and 2.5 and 5 °C respectively. January temperatures show a period of intermediate values (~ 3.5 °C) between 4 ka and 5.5 ka. The reconstructed climate values generally match palaeolimnological data from the same core, which show five intervals of low lake level during the Holocene. They are also consistent with regional-scale COHMAP simulated palaeoclimate that shows contrasting patterns of rainfall variation between the northwesternmost part of Africa and the intertropical band.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-890
Number of pages8
JournalClimate Dynamics
Volume14
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 1998

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