On the cause of abrupt vegetation collapse in North Africa during the Holocene: climate variability vs. vegetation feedback

Zhengyu Liu*, Yi Wang, Robert Gallimore, Michael Notaro, I. Colin Prentice

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The abrupt desertification over the northern Africa in the mid-Holocene is studied in both a complex and a simple coupled climate-vegetation model. In contrast to the previous mechanism that relies on strong positive vegetation-climate feedback and the resulted multiple equilibria, we propose a new mechanism in which the abrupt desertification is caused by low frequency climate variability, rather than a positive vegetation-climate feedback. The implication of this new mechanism to modelling and observation is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL22709
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume33
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes

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