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Precipitation and Flood Frequencies of Northeastern Taiwan

Li, D., Knudsen, M.F., Jiang, H., Olsen, J., Zhao, M., Li, T., Knudsen, K.L., Seidenkrantz, M.-S. and Sha, L. 2012. A diatom-based reconstruction of summer sea-surface salinity in the Southern Okinawa Trough, East China Sea, over the last millennium. Journal of Quaternary Science 27: 771-779.
Citing Chang et al. (2009), authors Li et al. (2012) write that "the East Asian monsoon is one of the most active components of the global climate system, and heavy summer monsoonal precipitation that discharges large amounts of freshwater and sediments into the south-eastern East China Sea is considered among the most important components of the global hydrological cycle." Also, citing Wang et al. (2001, 2008) and Partin et al. (2007), they indicate that "recent palaeoclimate reconstructions based on stalagmite records suggest that the monsoon system in the tropical western Pacific plays an important role in abrupt millennial-scale climate variability."

Seeking to learn more about this millennial-scale climate variability, and noting that sea-surface salinity (SSS) "is heavily linked to monsoonal activity," Li et al. developed "a new summer SSS reconstruction from the Southern Okinawa Trough based on a high-resolution diatom record. And referring to this record, they discuss "palaeoclimatic and paleoenvironmental changes in the area over the last millennium at multidecadal to centennial time scales." So what did their record reveal?

Most importantly, the nine researchers report that "high-salinity conditions generally prevailed during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA)," which they identify as occurring over the period AD 905-1450, while they note that the Little Ice Age (LIA) was "characterized by relatively low-salinity conditions," due primarily to increased freshwater discharge from Taiwan's Lanyang River, "probably as a result of higher flood frequencies in north-eastern Taiwan."

Once again, we have another bit of evidence for the far-flung extent of both the MCA and LIA. And we similarly have another indication of the now-quite-apparent fact that floods are not more frequent or extreme during periods of greater global warmth, in strong contradiction of climate-alarmist claims to the contrary.

Additional References
Chang, Y.P., Chen, M.T., Yokoyama, Y., Matsuzaki, H., Thompson, W.G., Kao, S.J. and Kawahata, H. 2009. Monsoon hydrography and productivity changes in the East China Sea during the past 100,000 years: Okinawa Trough evidence (MD012404). Paleoceanography 24: 10.1029/2007PA001577.

Partin, J.W., Cobb, K.M., Adkins, J.F., Clark, B. and Fernandez, D.P. 2007. Millennial-scale trends in west Pacific warm pool hydrology since the Last Glacial Maximum. Nature 449: 452-455.

Wang, Y.J., Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., An, Z.S., Wu, J.Y., Shen, C.-C. and Dorale, J.A. 2001. A high-resolution absolute-dated late Pleistocene monsoon record from Hulu Cave, China. Science 294: 2345-2348.

Wang, Y.J., Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Kong, X.G., Shao, X.H., Chen, S.T., Wu, J.Y., Jiang, X.Y., Wang, X.F. and An, Z.S. 2008. Millennial- and orbital-scale changes in the East Asian monsoon over the past 224,000 years. Nature 451: 1090-1093.

Archived 24 April 2013