The last full glacial cycle in the Australian region

A. P. Kershaw, G. C. Nanson

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    A broad regional reconstruction of climate in the eastern half of Australia through the last full glacial cycle is attempted incorporating a diversity of evidence from a wide range of environments. The critical climatic feature over much of the continent has been variation in precipitation. The majority of studies indicate that cool phases have been dry, and warm phases, wet. Recent, well-dated sequences combined with the refinement and reinterpretation of some existing records strongly suggest, however, that temperature and effective precipitation have not been in phase. Instead, wettest conditions appear to correspond with the interstadials within the latter part of Stage 5 of the marine oxygen isotope stratigraphy rather than with the Last (full) Interglacial or with the Holocene. Driest conditions most likely occured during the transition from the peak of the Last Glacial to the Holocene. The use of this period, however, as a model for cyclical climatic variation for the late Quaternary in Australia is limited to some extent by the likely impact of Aboriginal people on the landscape.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
    Issue number1-3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993

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