New insights in past African and Middle Eastern climates: A tribute to Françoise Gasse
|Convener: Laurence Vidal | Co-Conveners: Florence Sylvestre , James M Russell , Dirk Verschuren|
This session focuses on paleoclimate history recorded in African and Middle Eastern lake archives. These regions are climatically linked and cover a wide range of climate regimes from tropical to sub-tropical and arid to (sub-)humid, as well as corridors for early human evolution and migration. Lacustrine sediments from these regions have the potential to track environmental changes on short (years to decades) and long time scales (century to millennia) covering periods from the Early Quaternary to the last millennium. To obtain a comprehensive and quantitative picture of continental climate changes (and the associated forcing factors), it is crucial to precisely reconstruct hydrological and climatic parameters at the lake-basin scale. Past hydrological changes have often impacted ancient human societies; in the context of current global warming and future climate projections, improving our knowledge of past hydrological variability in this region, where populations are vulnerable to scarce or variable water resources, is a pivotal task for the scientific community. We encourage contributions in the fields of paleoclimatology, paleoecology and paleohydrology based on lacustrine records using new approaches in sedimentology, isotopic geochemistry and micropaleontology as well as water-balance and climate modelling.