Continuous high-resolution pollen data for the past 225 ka from sediments in Bear Lake, Utah-Idaho reflect changes in vegetation and climate that correlate well with variations in summer insolation and global ice-volume during MIS 1 through 7. Spectral analysis of the pollen data identified peaks at 21-22 and 100 ka corresponding to periodicities in Earth's precession and eccentricity orbital cycles. Suborbital climatic fluctuations recorded in the pollen data, denoted by 6 and 5 ka cyclicities, are similar to Greenland atmospheric temperatures and North Atlantic ice-rafting Heinrich events. Our results show that millennial-scale climate variability is also evident during MIS 5, 6 and 7, including the occurrence of Heinrich-like events in MIS 6, showing the long-term feature of such climate variability. This study provides clear evidence of a highly interconnected ocean-atmosphere system during the last two glacial/interglacial cycles that extended its influence as far as continental western North America. Our study also contributes to a greater understanding of the impact of long-term climate change on vegetation of western North America. Such high-resolution studies are particularly important in efforts of the scientific community to predict the consequences of future climate change.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth-Surface Processes