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Journal Articles Earth and Planetary Science Letters Year : 2007

H4 abrupt event and late Neanderthal presence in Iberia

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Abstract

Heinrich event 4 (H4) is well documented in the North Atlantic Ocean and the adjacent continents as a cooling event 39,000 yr before present (BP). To quantify the impact of this event with respect to climate and vegetation over the Iberian Peninsula, we perform numerical experiments using a high-resolution general circulation model forced by sea surface temperatures before and during H4. Our model simulates an expansion of aridity over the peninsula during H4, a desertification of the south, and a replacement of arboreal by herbaceous plants in the north, all of which are in agreement with contemporaneous pollen sequences from marine cores located off the Iberian Peninsula. Our simulations demonstrate that the H4 marine event imprinted drastic changes over Southern Iberia, which would not have favoured its occupation by Anatomically Modern Humans, therefore providing a plausible explanation for the delayed extinction of Neanderthals in this region inferred from the archaeological record.

Dates and versions

insu-00377269 , version 1 (21-04-2009)

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Pierre Sepulchre, Gilles Ramstein, Masa Kageyama, Marian Vanhaeren, Gerhard Krinner, et al.. H4 abrupt event and late Neanderthal presence in Iberia. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2007, 258 (1-2), pp.283 à 292. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2007.03.041⟩. ⟨insu-00377269⟩
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