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Miocene fire intensification linked to continuous aridification on the Tibetan Plateau

Abstract : Although fire is considered an important factor in global vegetation evolution and cli- mate change, few high-resolution Miocene fire records have been obtained worldwide. Here, two independent micro-charcoal–based fire records from the northern Tibetan Plateau were analyzed; both show similar trends in micro- charcoal concentrations through time, with low abundances in the warmer Middle Miocene Climate Optimum (18–14 Ma) followed by a continuous increase throughout the late Mio- cene (14–5 Ma) cooling. Our detailed statistical analyses show that the micro-charcoal concen- tration trend is highly positively correlated to the trend in oxygen isotopes (δ18O, r = 0.94) and xerophytic species (%Xero, r = 0.95). We propose that the intensified fire frequency on the Tibetan Plateau mainly originated from the forest-steppe ecotone as a result of the continuous aridifica- tion in winter driven by the global cooling and decreased atmospheric pCO2 that occurred dur- ing 18–5 Ma, with a secondary control by the tectonic activity of the northern Tibetan Plateau.
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Contributor : Nathalie Lyvet Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 2:23:37 PM
Last modification on : Friday, September 30, 2022 - 11:12:08 AM




Yunfa Miao, Fuli Wu, Sophie Warny, Xiaomin Fang, Haijian Lu, et al.. Miocene fire intensification linked to continuous aridification on the Tibetan Plateau. Geology, 2019, 47 (4), pp.303-307. ⟨10.1130/G45720.1⟩. ⟨hal-02095433⟩



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