Algal lipids reveal unprecedented warming rates in alpine areas of SW Europe during the Industrial Period

Garcia-Alix Daroca, A. et al. (2020) Algal lipids reveal unprecedented warming rates in alpine areas of SW Europe during the Industrial Period. Climate of the Past, 16, pp. 245-263. (doi: 10.5194/cp-16-245-2020)

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Alpine ecosystems of the southern Iberian Peninsula are among the most vulnerable and the first to respond to modern climate change in southwestern Europe. While major environmental shifts have occurred over the last ∼1500 years in these alpine ecosystems, only changes in the recent centuries have led to abrupt environmental responses, but factors imposing the strongest stress have been unclear until now. To understand these environmental responses, this study, for the first time, has calibrated an algal lipid-derived temperature proxy (based on long-chain alkyl diols) to instrumental historical data extending alpine temperature reconstructions to 1500 years before present. These novel results highlight the enhanced effect of greenhouse gases on alpine temperatures during the last ∼200 years and the long-term modulating role of solar forcing. This study also shows that the warming rate during the 20th century (∼0.18 ∘C per decade) was double that of the last stages of the Little Ice Age (∼0.09 ∘C per decade), even exceeding temperature trends of the high-altitude Alps during the 20th century. As a consequence, temperature exceeded the preindustrial record in the 1950s, and it has been one of the major forcing processes of the recent enhanced change in these alpine ecosystems from southern Iberia since then. Nevertheless, other factors reducing the snow and ice albedo (e.g., atmospheric deposition) may have influenced local glacier loss, since almost steady climate conditions predominated from the middle 19th century to the first decades of the 20th century.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This study was supported by the project 839 P11-RNM 7332 of the “Junta de Andalucía”, the projects CGL2017-85415-R, CGL2013-47038-R and CGL2011- 23483 of the “Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain and Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional FEDER”, the project 87/2007 of the OAPN-Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, as well as the research group RNM-190 (Junta de Andalucía). A.G.-A. was also supported by a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship of the 7th Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration of the European Commission (NAOSIPUK. Grant Number: PIEF-GA-2012-623027) and by a Ramón y Cajal Fellowship RYC-2015-18966 of the Spanish Government (Ministerio de Economía y Competividad). J.L.T. hosted the NAOSIPUK project (PIEF-GA-2012- 623027) at the University of Glasgow.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Garcia-Alix Daroca, Dr Antonio and Toney, Professor Jaime
Authors: Garcia-Alix Daroca, A., Toney, J., Jiménez-Moreno, G., Pérez-Martínez, C., Jiménez, L., Rodrigo-Gámiz, M., Anderson, R. S., Camuera, J., Jiménez-Espejo, F. J., Peña-Angulo, D., and Ramos-Román, M. J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Climate of the Past
Publisher:European Geosciences Union
ISSN (Online):1814-9332
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Climate of the Past 16:245–263
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
169953NAOSIPUK: Natural responses to past North Atlantic Oscillations: Southern Iberian Peninsula vs. United Kingdom. Analogues for future environmental changesJaime ToneyEuropean Commission (EC)623027GES - Earth Sciences