Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences




We present an overview of selected papers published since 2000 that interpret Late Quaternary multi-proxy palaeoclimate records from Turkey and the surrounding region of the Near-Middle East and Mediterranean region. Existing records in Turkey are rather limited in their resolution, and the locations studied thus far reflect a limited spatial and temporal distribution. Because Turkey is a very large country with numerous mountains that affect local weather conditions and create complex feedbacks, it is difficult to correlate trends across the broad landscape, and beyond. Published instrumental records are too short, and most palaeoclimate proxy records, including many lakes studied in Cappadocia and Konya, are low resolution. The Anatolian peninsula is sensitive to spatial and temporal shifts in the configuration, strength and persistence of global circulation patterns affecting the Mediterranean climate zone, including the mid-latitude westerlies, the continental climate system anchored over northern Asia and Siberia, and the Afro-Asian monsoonal system. As such, there is a strong need for additional new, high quality, well dated, and high-resolution multi-proxy records from more sites in Turkey. Deciphering the complexities of environmental change in central-interior and eastern regions of Turkey is particularly problematic, due to the paucity of published records. Additional observations of climate variability at the decadal-to-centennial scale are essential to better understand the ascendant controls on climate variation, the influence of rapid climate changes (RCCs) recognized in the marine record, and the causal mechanisms involved. Because the IPCC models forecast desiccation for Turkey and other drought-prone regions, it is particularly important to understand the natural baseline of hydroclimate variation across the broader Middle East and Mediterranean region. Additional study of past conditions has tremendous potential to inform the policy and practices of the future.

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