Skip to content Skip to navigation

Research

Title Journal Author Abstract Time
Late Oligocene-early Miocene Birth of the Taklimakan Desert PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA(PNAS) Hongbo Zheng,Xiaochun Wei,Ryuji Tadad, Peter D. Clifte,Bin Wangf, Fred Jourdang, Ping Wanga, and Mengying Hea As the world’s second largest sand sea and one of the most important dust sources to the global aerosol system, the formation of the Taklimakan Desert marks a major environmental event in central Asia during the Cenozoic. Determining when and how the desert formed holds the key to better understanding the tectonic–climatic linkage in this critical region. However, the age of the Taklimakan remains controversial, with the dominant view being from ∼3.4 Ma to ∼7 Ma based on magnetostratigraphy of sedimentary sequences within and along the margins of the desert. In this study, we applied radioisotopic methods to precisely date a volcanic tuff preserved in the stratigraphy. We constrained the initial desertification to be late Oligocene to early Miocene, between ∼26.7 Ma and 22.6 Ma. We suggest that the Taklimakan Desert was formed as a response to a combination of widespread regional aridification and increased erosion in the surrounding mountain fronts, both of which are closely linked to the tectonic uplift of the Tibetan–Pamir Plateau and Tian Shan, which had reached a climatically sensitive threshold at this time. 2015.03
Pre-Miocene birth of the Yangtze River PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA(PNAS) Zheng, HB ,Clift, PD,Wang, P,Tada, RJ,Jia, JT,He, MY,Jourdan, F, The development of fluvial systems in East Asia is closely linked to the evolving topography following India-Eurasia collision. Despite this, the age of the Yangtze River system has been strongly debated, with estimates ranging from 40 to 45 Ma, to a more recent initiation around 2 Ma. Here, we present Ar-40/Ar-39 ages from basalts interbedded with fluvial sediments from the lower reaches of the Yangtze together with detrital zircon U-Pb ages from sand grains within these sediments. We show that a river containing sediments indistinguishable from the modern river was established before similar to 23 Ma. We argue that the connection through the Three Gorges must postdate 36.5 Ma because of evaporite and lacustrine sedimentation in the Jianghan Basin before that time. We propose that the present Yangtze River system formed in response to regional extension throughout eastern China, synchronous with the start of strike-slip tectonismand surface uplift in eastern Tibet and fed by strengthened rains caused by the newly intensified summer monsoon. 2013.05
Modern Transition Of Chinese Buddhist Literature Thinking After The May Fourth New Cultural Movement China Social Sciences Guilin Tan Conforming to the new cultural context and ideological ecology, Chinese Buddhist literature thinking and criticism begin to fulfill its modern transition with the development of modern Buddhism reformation after the May Fourth New Cultural Movement. Modern Buddhist literature frees from the elegant intercommunion of a few eminent monks. It becomes a public artistic form which vast monks and priests----eminent or not----can study, appreciate, and create. What’s more, ideologically, it begins to transform from classical Chinese to vernacular Chinese; from elegant language to public monkhood; from monasteries to society; from jungle to human life; from sticking to “Jingyi” to openness and containment; from ideology of believers to ideology of public; from a pure utilitarian artistic concept to a plural artistic finalism which advocates to express human thoughts and feelings. 2013.04
Divergent global precipitation changes induced by natural versus anthropogenic forcing Nature Liu, J (Liu, Jian)[ 1,2 ] ; Wang, B (Wang, Bin)[ 3,4 ] ; Cane, MA (Cane, Mark A.)[ 5 ] ; Yim, SY (Yim, So-Young)[ 3,4 ] ; Lee, JY (Lee, June-Yi)[ 3,4 ] As a result of global warming, precipitation is likely to increase in high latitudes and the tropics and to decrease in already dry subtropical regions(1). The absolute magnitude and regional details of such changes, however, remain intensely debated(2,3). As is well known from El Nino studies, sea-surface-temperature gradients across the tropical Pacific Ocean can strongly influence global rainfall(4,5). Palaeoproxy evidence indicates that the difference between the warm west Pacific and the colder east Pacific increased in past periods when the Earth warmed as a result of increased solar radiation(6-9). In contrast, in most model projections of future greenhouse warming this gradient weakens(2,10,11). It has not been clear how to reconcile these two findings. Here we show in climate model simulations that the tropical Pacific sea-surface-temperature gradient increases when the warming is due to increased solar radiation and decreases when it is due to increased greenhouse-gas forcing. For the same global surface temperature increase the latter pattern produces less rainfall, notably over tropical land, which explains why in the model the late twentieth century is warmer than in the Medieval Warm Period (around AD 1000-1250) but precipitation is less. This difference is consistent with the global tropospheric energy budget(12), which requires a balance between the latent heat released in precipitation and radiative cooling. The tropospheric cooling is less for increased greenhouse gases, which add radiative absorbers to the troposphere, than for increased solar heating, which is concentrated at the Earth's surface. Thus warming due to increased greenhouse gases produces a climate signature different from that of warming due to solar radiation changes. 2013.01
Age of Zhoukoudian Homo erectus determined with 26Al/10Be burial dating Nature Shen, GJ (Shen, Guanjun)[ 1 ] ; Gao, X (Gao, Xing)[ 2 ] ; Gao, B (Gao, Bin)[ 1 ] ; Granger, DE (Granger, Darryl E.)[ 3 ] The age of Zhoukoudian Homo erectus, commonly known as 'Peking Man', has long been pursued, but has remained problematic owing to the lack of suitable dating methods(1-7). Here we report cosmogenic Al-26/Be-10 burial dating of quartz sediments and artefacts from the lower strata of Locality 1 in the southwestern suburb of Beijing, China, where early representatives of Zhoukoudian Homo erectus were discovered. This study marks the first radioisotopic dating of any early hominin site in China beyond the range of mass spectrometric U-series dating. The weighted mean of six meaningful age measurements, 0.77 +/- 0.08 million years (Myr, mean +/- s.e.m.), provides the best age estimate for lower cultural layers 7-10. Together with previously reported U-series dating of speleothem calcite(3) and palaeomagnetic stratigraphy(4), as well as sedimentological considerations(8,9), these layers may be further correlated to S6-S7 in Chinese loess stratigraphy or marine isotope stages (MIS) 17-19, in the range of similar to 0.68 to 0.78 Myr ago. These ages are substantially older than previously supposed and may imply early hominin's presence at the site in northern China through a relatively mild glacial period corresponding to MIS 18. 2009.03
Millennial- and orbital-scale changes in the East Asian monsoon over the past 224,000 years Nature Wang, YJ (Wang, Yongjin)[ 1 ] ; Cheng, H (Cheng, Hai)[ 1,2 ] ; Edwards, RL (Edwards, R. Lawrence)[ 2 ] ; Kong, XG (Kong, Xinggong)[ 1 ] ; Shao, XH(Shao, Xiaohua)[ 1 ] ; Chen, ST (Chen, Shitao)[ 1 ] ; Wu, JY (Wu, Jiangyin)[ 1 ] ; Jiang, XY (Jiang, Xiouyang High- resolution speleothem records from China have provided insights into the factors that control the strength of the East Asian monsoon(1-4). Our understanding of these factors remains incomplete, however, owing to gaps in the record of monsoon history over the past two interglacial - glacial cycles. In particular, missing sections have hampered our ability to test ideas about orbital- scale controls on the monsoon(5-7), the causes of millennial- scale events(8,9) and relationships between changes in the monsoon and climate in other regions. Here we present an absolute- dated oxygen isotope record from Sanbao cave, central China, that completes a Chinese-cave-based record of the strength of the East Asian monsoon that covers the past 224,000 years. The record is dominated by 23,000-year- long cycles that are synchronous within dating errors with summer insolation at 65 degrees N ( ref. 10), supporting the idea that tropical/ subtropical monsoons respond dominantly and directly to changes in Northern Hemisphere summer insolation on orbital timescales(5). The cycles are punctuated by millennial- scale strong-summer-monsoon events ( Chinese interstadials(1)), and the new record allows us to identify the complete series of these events over the past two interglacial - glacial cycles. Their duration decreases and their frequency increases during glacial build- up in both the last and penultimate glacial periods, indicating that ice sheet size affects their character and pacing. The ages of the events are exceptionally well constrained and may thus serve as benchmarks for correlating and calibrating climate records. 2008.02
The Holocene Asian Monsoon: Links to Solar Changes and North Atlantic Climate SCIENCE Wang, YJ (Wang, YJ); Cheng, H (Cheng, H); Edwards, RL (Edwards, RL); He, YQ (He, YQ); Kong, XG (Kong, XG); An, ZS (An, ZS); Wu, JY (Wu, JY);Kelly, MJ (Kelly, MJ); Dykoski, CA (Dykoski, CA); Li, XD (Li, XD) A 5-year-resolution absolute-dated oxygen isotope record from Dongge Cave, southern China, provides a continuous history of the Asian monsoon over the past 9000 years. Although the record broadly follows summer insolation, it is punctuated by eight weak monsoon events tasting similar to 1 to 5 centuries. One correlates with the "8200-year" event, another with the collapse of the Chinese Neolithic culture, and most with North Atlantic ice-rafting events. Cross-correlation of the decadal- to centennial-scale monsoon record with the atmospheric carbon-14 record shows that some, but not all, of the monsoon variability at these frequencies results from changes in solar output. 2005.05
A High-Resolution Absolute-Dated Late Pleistocene Monsoon Record from Hulu Cave, China SCIENCE Wang, YJ (Wang, YJ); Cheng, H (Cheng, H); Edwards, RL (Edwards, RL); An, ZS (An, ZS); Wu, JY (Wu, JY); Shen, CC (Shen, CC); Dorale, JA (Dorale, JA) Oxygen isotope records of five stalagmites from Hulu Cave near Nanjing bear a remarkable resemblance to oxygen isotope records from Greenland ice cores, suggesting that East Asian Monsoon intensity changed in concert with Greenland temperature between 11,000 and 75,000 years before the present (yr. B.P.). Between 11,000 and 30,000 yr. B.P., the timing of changes in the monsoon, as established with Th-230 dates, generally agrees with the timing of temperature changes from the Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two (GISP2) core, which supports GISP2's chronology in this interval. Our record links North Atlantic climate with the meridional transport of heat and moisture from the warmest part of the ocean where the summer East Asian Monsoon originates. 2001.12