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Late quaternary environmental changes on Pacific Islands: Controversy, certainty and conjecture

Nunn, Patrick D. (1997) Late quaternary environmental changes on Pacific Islands: Controversy, certainty and conjecture. Journal of Quaternary Science, 12 (5). pp. 443-450. ISSN 0267-8179

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The late Quaternary history of the Pacific islands is poorly known. Most details about Pleistocene history come from studies of ocean-floor sediments, although a few insular pollen records extend back into the last glacial stage. There is limited evidence for Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) aridity and a rise in LGM–early Holocene precipitation associated with strengthening of the Southern Oscillation. The middle Holocene warming is best represented by sea-level records, which, from all parts of the Pacific, now show a contemporary maximum ca. 5000–3000 yr BP. Late Holocene cooling and precipitation increase were probably more widespread than available data suggest. The advent of humans into Pacific island environments, mostly during the late Holocene, is critically reviewed. Vegetation change may have, at least in part, been the result of climate change. Many Pacific island grasslands may be climatogenic rather than anthropogenic. Fires may have occurred naturally long before people arrived on Pacific islands. Ideas about early human impacts on Pacific island enviroments need to be critically reviewed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DU Oceania (South Seas)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
Depositing User: Generic Account
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2013 21:52
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2013 21:52

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