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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2015-03-03
    Description: The connection between climatic change and social response is complex because change articulates a number of inter-related factors. Human decisions are filtered by social buffers – including social memory, risk perception, and cultural priorities – and the rate and scale of climate change is usually much larger than the scale of human decision-making. In this article, we provide information on climate change based on precisely dated speleothems with the response evident in archaeological sites that have radiocarbon date ranges within the same time frame. A stalagmite recovered from within the catchment area for aquifer recharge of the Pre-Arawak site of Angostura in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, shows that a significant wet period occurred between 3.9 and 3.1 ka (primarily centered at 3.5 ka). We investigate the effect that this increase in precipitation had on the earliest occupations on the island in the context of palaeoenvironmental, geoarchaeological, and archaeological records from Angostura, Maruca, and Paso del Indio. Our analysis suggests the presence of two different adaptation strategies: settlement relocation and microlandscape modification. Our study concludes that the social response to change cannot be seen as monolithic given that human behavior, even within the same period, addresses the needs of individual groups with different priorities. This multiplicity of responses can indeed enhance resilience as social support can continue through alliances and exchanges, strengthening social bonds that can help buffer catastrophes. The results can help shed light on the range of adaptation strategies to change encompassed within the manifestations of social resilience or vulnerability.
    Print ISSN: 0959-6836
    Electronic ISSN: 1477-0911
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
    Published by Sage
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2013-04-19
    Description: We present an update (COMNISPA II) of a precisely dated, high-resolution speleothem 18 O record from the Austrian Alps. COMNISPA II consists of five stalagmites from Spannagel Cave, which have comparable 18 O values within periods of simultaneous growth and show similar 18 O variations on centennial to millennial timescales. This allows combining the five stalagmites to one composite record using a newly developed statistical approach. The COMNISPA II stack differs slightly from the previous version, but is better constrained because of additional stalagmites used for the reconstruction and a more objective method used for constructing the composite record. Furthermore, the record now covers the last 11 ka and shows variations in 18 O values by about 2. As previously shown, these variations compare well with other records in central Europe and the North Atlantic, and thus reflect a large-scale climate evolution.
    Print ISSN: 0959-6836
    Electronic ISSN: 1477-0911
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
    Published by Sage
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2012-11-23
    Description: Here we present the first high-resolution 18 O record of a stalagmite from western Cuba. The record reflects precipitation variability in the northwestern Caribbean during the last 1.3 ka and exhibits a correlation to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). This suggests a relationship between Caribbean rainfall intensity and North Atlantic sea-surface temperature (SST) anomalies. A potential mechanism for this relationship may be the strength of the Thermohaline Circulation (THC). For a weaker THC, lower SSTs in the North Atlantic possibly lead to a southward shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone and drier conditions in Cuba. Thus, this Cuban stalagmite records drier conditions during cold phases in the North Atlantic such as the ‘Little Ice Age’. This study contributes to the understanding of teleconnections between North Atlantic SSTs and northern Caribbean climate variability during the past 1.3 ka.
    Print ISSN: 0959-6836
    Electronic ISSN: 1477-0911
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
    Published by Sage
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