Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Regional Precipitation Trends Since 1500 Ce, Reconstructed from Calcite Sublayers of a Varved Mediterranean Lake Record (Central Pyrenees)

Version 1 : Received: 20 November 2021 / Approved: 22 November 2021 / Online: 22 November 2021 (14:21:49 CET)

How to cite: Vegas-Vilarrúbia, T.; Corella, J.P.; Sigró, J.; Rull, V.; Dorado, I.; Valero, B.; Gutiérrez, E. Regional Precipitation Trends Since 1500 Ce, Reconstructed from Calcite Sublayers of a Varved Mediterranean Lake Record (Central Pyrenees). Preprints 2021, 2021110405 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0405.v1). Vegas-Vilarrúbia, T.; Corella, J.P.; Sigró, J.; Rull, V.; Dorado, I.; Valero, B.; Gutiérrez, E. Regional Precipitation Trends Since 1500 Ce, Reconstructed from Calcite Sublayers of a Varved Mediterranean Lake Record (Central Pyrenees). Preprints 2021, 2021110405 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0405.v1).

Abstract

The Mediterranean is one of the regions of the world where human-induced climate warming is expected to have large impacts on water and environmental resources. To predict shifts in the current climate system, more regional climate records, including seasonal-to-century scale variability spanning longer than the instrumental periods, are needed. To help fill this gap, we provide a reconstruction of autumn precipitation variations for the Central Pyrenees range since 1500 Common Era (CE) using the varved sediments of Lake Montcortès. To assess the suitability of the calcite sublayer width of the sediments of this lake as a proxy for precipitation anomalies, we performed an analysis and smoothing of the temporal structure of the width series, calibration of the new series with the available instrumental climate records, calculation of a transfer function and testing and comparison of the reconstructed series against available empirical data.The prediction model was statistically robust and showed that the climatic signal was captured in the calcite sublayers. The reconstruction provides the first estimations of regional autumn precipitation shifts in the Central Pyrenees at annual resolution, since 1500 CE. Pronounced interdecadal shifts in precipitation were noticeable; no increasing nor decreasing linear trends or periods of extreme precipitation events were identified. The reconstructed precipitation anomalies suggest a decrease in rainfall during the coldest phase within the coldest period of the Little Ice Age and also during the 20th century, probably associated to current Global Warming. Correlations between autumn precipitation and the North Atlantic Oscillation, Western Mediterranean Oscillation and Southern Oscillation indices were weak to moderate. A potential relationship with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation pattern is suggested. The reconstructed autumn precipitation trends are coherent with other palaeohydrological reconstructions in similar Mediterranean settings, and consistent at a regional level.

Keywords

Authigenic varves; Autumn precipitation; Climate warming; Little Ice Age; Transfer function model; Water resources

Subject

EARTH SCIENCES, Environmental Sciences

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