Temporal Variations in Lake Levels Since 30,000 YR BP—An Index of the Global Hydrological Cycle

  1. James E. Hansen and
  2. Taro Takahashi
  1. F. Alayne Street-Perrott and
  2. Sandra P. Harrison

Published Online: 19 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM029p0118

Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity

Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity

How to Cite

Street-Perrott, F. A. and Harrison, S. P. (1984) Temporal Variations in Lake Levels Since 30,000 YR BP—An Index of the Global Hydrological Cycle, in Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity (eds J. E. Hansen and T. Takahashi), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM029p0118

Author Information

  1. Tropical Palaeoenvironments Research Group, School of Geography, Mansfield Road, Oxford, U.K., OXI 3TB

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1984

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875904047

Online ISBN: 9781118666036

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Keywords:

  • Climatology—Congresses;
  • Geophysics—Congresses;
  • Ocean-atmosphere interaction—Congresses

Summary

Fluctuations in the extent of closed lakes provide a detailed record of global and regional variations in the balance between precipitation and evaporation. The temporal sequence of hydrological fluctuations during the last 30,000 14C yr BP was reconstructed using published data from 198 lake basins between 41°S and 51°N. These data were coded at 1000-yr intervals in terms of lake status (an index of relative depth) and lake-level trend. The broad pattern of glacial/interglacial variations was established by aggregating the status/trend information from particular regions. There is an important contrast in lake behaviour north and south of the Tropic of Cancer. On the poleward side, phases of high lake levels were a very prominent feature of the last 30,000 yr compared with the intertropical belt and the Southern Hemisphere. Longitudinal asymmetry was also most pronounced in northern extratropical latitudes. During the last 13,000 yr, fluctuations on a shorter time scale (102–103 yr) are exhihited by individual lake-level curves from intertropical Africa, where they account for a significant proportion of the climatic variance.