Climatic and environmental changes since the last glacial period are important to our understanding of global environmental change. There are few records from Southern Tibet, one of the most climatically sensitive areas on earth. Here we present a study of the lake sediments (TC1 core) from Lake Chen Co, Southern Tibet. Two sediment cores were drilled using a hydraulic borer in Terrace 1 of Lake Chen Co. AMS C-14 dating of the sediments showed that the sequence spanned > 30,000 years. Analyses of present lake hydrology indicated that glacier melt water is very important to maintaining the lake level. Sediment variables such as grain size, TOC, TN, C/N, Fe/Mn, CaCO3, and pollen were analyzed. Warm and moderately humid conditions dominated during the interval 30,000-26,500 cal year BP. From 26,500 to 20,000 cal year BP, chemical variables and pollen assemblages indicate a cold/dry environment, and pollen amounts and assemblages suggest a decline in vegetation. From 20,000 to 18,000 cal year BP, the environment shifted from cold/dry to warm/humid and vegetation rebounded. The environment transitioned to cold/humid during 16,500-10,500 cal year BP, with a cold/dry event around 14,500 cal year BP. After 10,500 cal year BP, the environment in this region tended to be warm/dry, but exhibited three stages. From 10,500 to 9,000 cal year BP, there was a short warm/humid period, but a shift to cold/dry conditions occurred around 9,000 cal year BP. Thereafter, from 9,000 to 6,000 cal year BP, there was a change from cold/dry to warm/humid conditions, with the warmest period around 6,000 cal year BP. After 6,000 cal year BP, the environment cooled rapidly, but then displayed a warming trend. Chemical variables indicate that a relatively warm/dry event occurred around 5,500-5,000 cal year BP, which is supported by time-lagged pollen assemblages around 4,800 cal year BP. Our lake sediment sequence exhibits environmental changes since 30,000 cal year BP, and most features agree with records from the Greenland GISP2 ice core and with other sequences from the Tibetan Plateau. This indicates that environmental changes inferred from Lake Chen Co, Southern Tibet were globally significant.
2009. Vol. 42, no 3, 343-358 p.