Mediterranean vegetation, lake levels and palaeoclimate at the Last Glacial Maximum

I. Colin Prentice*, Joël Guiot, Sandy P. Harrison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Citations (Scopus)


THE apparent conflict between pollen evidence for widespread Artemisia steppe1-6 (implying semi-arid conditions) and geomorphological evidence for high lake levels4,7-11 has produced controversy about the ice-age palaeoclimate of the Mediterranean region. Here we use a water-balance model12 (to predict catchment runoff) and a biome model13 (to predict vegetation type) to reconstruct the palaeoenvironment around Lake loannina - a type locality for the northern Mediterranean region. We show that both sets of evidence are compatible with a summer-dry, winter-wet regime with seasonal temperature anomalies similar to those predicted by atmospheric model simulations of the Last Glacial Maximum14-18. The drying effect of the cold North Atlantic Ocean may have been counteracted in winter by increased storm frequency under a southward-shifted jet stream, as shown by several atmospheric models 16-18.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-660
Number of pages3
Issue number6405
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


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