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Recent anthropogenic climate change exceeds the rate and magnitude of natural Holocene variability on the Balearic Islands

Abstract : Industrial-era warming and aridification have underlined the importance of past climate reconstructions in contextualizing present-day anomalies from a long-term perspective. While the issue of climate change is global, studies have long stressed the vulnerability of the Mediterranean basin, especially with regard to its islands with likely acute environmental and socioeconomic impacts. This study uses paleoecological data from Mallorca to quantify climate changes during the last eight millennia. We compared and contrasted past ecosystem dynamics with recent instrumental climate data to characterize the emergence of industrial-era warming. We show that anthropogenic warming has transgressed both the rate and magnitude of natural variability. At the scale of the last 8000 years, this study highlights the uniqueness of Mallorca’s present climate and emphasizes the rapidity of current changes compared to the climate history of the island. The present-day mean annual temperature appears 3.3 ± 1.2 warmer than the reconstructed value for the last eight millennia, with a 33 % drop in precipitation between the last 8000 years and the industrial era. This long-term view underscores human impacts on climate in Mallorca, the fourth most populated island of the Mediterranean. It suggests that the ongoing warming and aridification trends will be a significant challenge to Mediterranean islands, at both present and future timescales.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 4, 2022 - 10:07:07 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 1, 2022 - 4:25:41 AM


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David Kaniewski, Nick Marriner, Rachid Cheddadi, Christophe Morhange, Miguel Ángel Cau Ontiveros, et al.. Recent anthropogenic climate change exceeds the rate and magnitude of natural Holocene variability on the Balearic Islands. Anthropocene, Elsevier, 2020, 32, pp.100268. ⟨10.1016/j.ancene.2020.100268⟩. ⟨hal-02982247⟩



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