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A 250-Year Isotopic Proxy Rainfall Record from Southern Botswana

Stephan Woodborne, Grant Hall, Connor W. Jones, Neil Loader Orcid Logo, Adrian Patrut, Roxana T. Patrut, Iain Robertson Orcid Logo, Stephan R. Winkler, Christiaan W. Winterbach

Studia Universitatis Babeș-Bolyai Chemia, Volume: 63, Issue: 1, Pages: 109 - 123

Swansea University Authors: Neil Loader Orcid Logo, Iain Robertson Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Climate records along aridity gradients where manifestations of climate change are most profound are important for testing climate models. The Kalahari Transect spans such a gradient, but instrumental records of climate parameters are limited in the sparsely populated region. We analysed the δ13C an...

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Published in: Studia Universitatis Babeș-Bolyai Chemia
ISSN: 12247154 20659520
Published: 2018
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa39623
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Abstract: Climate records along aridity gradients where manifestations of climate change are most profound are important for testing climate models. The Kalahari Transect spans such a gradient, but instrumental records of climate parameters are limited in the sparsely populated region. We analysed the δ13C and δ18O record from a Vachellia erioloba (E.Mey) tree from the southern Kalahari Desert in Botswana to explore its potential as a climate proxy archive. Radiocarbon dates show that the record spans the period 1758-2013 CE. Both the δ13C and δ18O records correlate with local rainfall. The isotope proxies show a weak positive correlation with sea-surface temperature reconstruction from the southwestern Indian Ocean, and a stronger correlation with the El Niño Southern Oscillation index. This appears to contradict previous evidence that higher sea-surface temperatures are associated with reduced summer rainfall over the southern African interior. Instead of eastward shifts in the temperate tropical trough synoptic system during elevated southwestern Indian Ocean temperature anomalies, the evidence supports a westwards shift. The result demonstrates the potential of Vachellia erioloba as a climate proxy archive that may yield past climate variability from the arid regions of southern Africa.
Item Description: Open Access Article
College: College of Science
Issue: 1
Start Page: 109
End Page: 123