1CEREGE, CNRS/Université Paul Cézanne UMR 6635, BP 80, 13545 Aix-en-Provence cedex France
2SKLL, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xian 710075, China
3Institut des Sciences de l'Environnement, UQAM, Montreal PQ, H3C 3P8 Canada
4Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100029 Beijing, China
5Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100093, Beijing, China
Abstract. First we review several syntheses of paleodata (pollen, lake-levels) showing the climate variations in China and Mongolia from the last glacial maximum to Present and in particular the precipitation increase at mid Holocene related to enhanced monsoon. All these results concur to a much enhanced monsoon on most of China during the first half of the Holocene. Second we present, in some details, a temporal study of a core (Lake Bayanchagan, Inner Mongolia) located in an arid region at the edge of the present East Asian Monsoon (EAM) influence and then sensitive to climatic change. This study involves pollen data together with other macro-remains and stable isotope curve to obtain a robust climate reconstruction. This study shows a long wet period between 11 000 and 5000 years BP divided in two parts, a warmer one from 11 000 and 8000 (marked by large evapotranspiration) and a cooler one more favourable to forest expansion. Third, we present a spatial study based on pollen data only and covering all China and Mongolia at 6000 years BP, but using a mechanistic modelling approach, in an inverse mode. It has the advantage to take into account environmental context different from the present one (lower atmospheric CO2, different seasonality). This study shows temperature generally cooler than present one in southern China, but a significant warming was found over Mongolia, and a slightly higher in northeast China. Precipitation was generally higher than today in southern, northeast China, and northern Mongolia, but lower or similar to today in northwest China and north China. Enhanced EAM was then found in the southern half of China and in northeast China.