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Journal of Arid Land

Abstract

Based on the analyses of environmental proxy data in lake sediments and instrumental records of Xinjiang in northwest China, the Holocene climate and hydrological variability and its environmental responses were studied in different time scales and regions. The results showed that the Holocene climate variability had obvious differences between the north and south of Xinjiang. In northern Xinjiang, the Holocene climate was dry in the early period, humid in the middle period, and then changed to dry in the late period. However, the climate transition times were not consistent in different regions. In southern Xinjiang, although there were many different types of climate change patterns inferred from different catchments, the warm and wet climate was recorded in most lake sediments in the middle Holocene. According to comparisons of some millennium scale records in lake sediments, the climate was warm and dry in the past 100 years. It can be concluded the climate showed a trend of aridity in Holocene. Especially in recent 50 years, the lake area has been shrinking rapidly because of the population growth and social economic development, which brings some environmental problems. Lake level and area changes were sensitively affected by the climate variation in geological history of Xinjiang and the lake level will continue to shrink because of the drought climate and strengthened human activities.

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