The Dead Sea, located at the deepest place on continent and between the subtropical Mediterranean zone and the desert, reflects in its water composition and levels, and sedimentary records the hydrological conditions in the southern Levant region. Temporal variations in rainfall and temperatures of the Holocene Levant are reconstructed here from pollen data recovered from a sediment core drilled at the Ein Gedi shore, applying a novel biome model based on Bayesian statistics. Our results suggest that the region was arid and warm in the early Holocene period (~ 10-6.5 ka cal BP), wetter and colder in the mid Holocene (6.3-3.3 ka cal BP), and drier and warmer in the late Holocene (~ 3.2 ka cal BP to present). These periods comprise multi-centennial climate cycles that are characterized by rapid changes in temperature and precipitation reflecting Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and atmospheric conditions over the Atlantic Ocean. The pollen record responds within a short time interval to the climate conditions and marks rapid shifts from Mediterranean to desert environmental conditions and back in the southern Levant region. We also evaluate our results in the light of possible disturbances of the natural vegetation, e.g. the possibility of forest decrease, since the Neolithic.
Dataset: Pollen record of sediment core Ein Gedi (DSEn), Dead Sea Accessed 115 times | Last updated 04.12.2017
Article: Holocene climate variability in the Levant from the Dead Sea pollen record Accessed 135 times | Last updated 04.12.2017
Litt, T., Ohlwein, C., Neumann, F., Hense, A., Stein, M. (2012): Holocene climate variability in the Levant from the Dead Sea pollen record. – In: Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 49, p: 95-105, DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.06.012
|Authors||Litt, Thomas and Ohlwein, Christian and Neumann, Frank H. and Hense, Andreas and Stein, Mordechai|
|Title||Holocene climate variability in the Levant from the Dead Sea pollen record|
|Journal||Quaternary Science Reviews|