Document Type



climate sciences; environmental sciences

Identifier Data


US National Library of Medicine, NIH

Publication Source

Nature Communications, 10, 1958

Rights Management



The complicity of long-term land surface temperature (LST) changes has been under investigated and less understood, hindering our understanding of the history and mechanism of terrestrial climate change. Here, we report the longest (800 thousand years) LSTs based on distributions of soil fossil bacterial glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers preserved in well-dated loess-paleosol sequences at the center of the Chinese Loess Plateau. We have found a previously-unrecognized increasing early and prolonged warming pattern toward the northwestern plateau at the onset of the past seven deglaciations, corresponding to the decrease in vegetation coverage, suggesting underlying surface vegetation or lack of has played an important role in regulating LSTs, superimposed on the fundamental global glacial–interglacial changes. Our results support that LSTs in semi-humid and semi-arid regions with little vegetation will be more sensitive to the anticipated global temperature rise, while improving vegetation coverage would reduce LSTs and thus ecological impacts.