Title

Coring Lake Fuxian: A Passageway to Key Paleoclimatic Records

Streaming Media

Type of Proposal

Oral presentation

Start Date

31-3-2017 10:30 AM

End Date

31-3-2017 11:50 AM

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Douglas Haffner

Abstract

Studying the variations in weather patterns throughout time is fundamental to predicting future climate change. Amongst the greatest influences on climate are the El Niño and La Niña events, which determine global weather patterns. Their formation takes place in the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP), and through the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), they drive weather patterns throughout the world, especially monsoon-related events. Lakes provide an extensive record of historical data, tracking monsoons over time. At the edge of the IPWP lies Lake Fuxian in Yunnan Province, China, which is strongly affected by the Indian Monsoon. We predict that the sediments of Lake Fuxian, an ancient lake of 2-3 million years, has potentially recorded both monsoonal events and local anthropogenic inputs. We sliced a 31-cm sediment core from Lake Fuxian into 1-cm intervals and analyzed the elemental concentrations of each slice through inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Peaks in Na concentrations at 9cm, 15cm, 25cm, 26cm,and 28cm represented periods of high evaporation associated with major droughts while peaks at 3cm, 7cm, 16cm,and 19cm denoted periods of major precipitation, a characterization of monsoonal events. Additionally, a shift in concentration found between Pb, Cu, and P from 6cm–2cm provides strong evidence of human activity on the local environment. Through studying these past monsoonal events, we presume that major floods and droughts have occurred multiple times in this region. Decreased freshwater availability is one of the most threatening consequences of climate change to humanity. Lake Fuxian is an important freshwater source, another major drought will prove dangerous to China. Due to China’s influence on the world’s economy, adversity in the country could lead to negative impacts globally. By learning about historical climatic patterns from Lake Fuxian, we come a step closer to making proper climate change predictions and necessary preparations for the future.

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Mar 31st, 10:30 AM Mar 31st, 11:50 AM

Coring Lake Fuxian: A Passageway to Key Paleoclimatic Records

Studying the variations in weather patterns throughout time is fundamental to predicting future climate change. Amongst the greatest influences on climate are the El Niño and La Niña events, which determine global weather patterns. Their formation takes place in the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP), and through the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), they drive weather patterns throughout the world, especially monsoon-related events. Lakes provide an extensive record of historical data, tracking monsoons over time. At the edge of the IPWP lies Lake Fuxian in Yunnan Province, China, which is strongly affected by the Indian Monsoon. We predict that the sediments of Lake Fuxian, an ancient lake of 2-3 million years, has potentially recorded both monsoonal events and local anthropogenic inputs. We sliced a 31-cm sediment core from Lake Fuxian into 1-cm intervals and analyzed the elemental concentrations of each slice through inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Peaks in Na concentrations at 9cm, 15cm, 25cm, 26cm,and 28cm represented periods of high evaporation associated with major droughts while peaks at 3cm, 7cm, 16cm,and 19cm denoted periods of major precipitation, a characterization of monsoonal events. Additionally, a shift in concentration found between Pb, Cu, and P from 6cm–2cm provides strong evidence of human activity on the local environment. Through studying these past monsoonal events, we presume that major floods and droughts have occurred multiple times in this region. Decreased freshwater availability is one of the most threatening consequences of climate change to humanity. Lake Fuxian is an important freshwater source, another major drought will prove dangerous to China. Due to China’s influence on the world’s economy, adversity in the country could lead to negative impacts globally. By learning about historical climatic patterns from Lake Fuxian, we come a step closer to making proper climate change predictions and necessary preparations for the future.