Christopher A. Scholz

Learn More
The environmental backdrop to the evolution and spread of early Homo sapiens in East Africa is known mainly from isolated outcrops and distant marine sediment cores. Here we present results from new scientific drill cores from Lake Malawi, the first long and continuous, high-fidelity records of tropical climate change from the continent itself. Our record(More)
Extremely arid conditions in tropical Africa occurred in several discrete episodes between 135 and 90 ka, as demonstrated by lake core and seismic records from multiple basins [Scholz CA, Johnson TC, Cohen AS, King JW, Peck J, Overpeck JT, Talbot MR, Brown ET, Kalindekafe L, Amoako PYO, et al. (2007) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:16416-16421]. This resulted in(More)
[1] The tropics play a major role in global climate dynamics, and are vulnerable to future climate change. We present a record of East African climate since 55 ka, preserved in Lake Malawi sediments, that indicates rapid shifts between discrete climate modes related to abrupt warming (D-O) events observed in Greenland. Although the timing of the Malawi(More)
a Department of Earth Sciences, Syracuse University, Syracuse NY, 13244, USA b Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA c Large Lakes Observatory and Department of Geological Sciences, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN 55812, USA d Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, RI 02882,(More)
Although persistent drought in West Africa is well documented from the instrumental record and has been primarily attributed to changing Atlantic sea surface temperatures, little is known about the length, severity, and origin of drought before the 20th century. We combined geomorphic, isotopic, and geochemical evidence from the sediments of Lake Bosumtwi,(More)
Seismic data reveal that water level in Lake Malawi, East Africa, was 250 to 500 meters lower before about 25,000 years ago. Water levels in Lake Tanganyika at that time were more than 600 meters below the current lake level. A drier climate appears to have caused these low stands, but tectonic tilting may also have been a contributing factor in Lake(More)
African climate is generally considered to have evolved towards progressively drier conditions over the past few million years, with increased variability as glacial-interglacial change intensified worldwide. Palaeoclimate records derived mainly from northern Africa exhibit a 100,000-year (eccentricity) cycle overprinted on a pronounced 20,000-year(More)
The Great Lakes of East Africa are one of the most exciting targets for obtaining long core records on Earth. Since their early exploration by 19 century naturalists their unique geological and biological attributes have been objects of curiosity for scientists from a wide range of disciplines. Since early in the 20 century it has also been evident that an(More)
The transport of moisture in the tropics is a critical process for the global energy budget and on geologic timescales, has markedly influenced continental landscapes, migratory pathways, and biological evolution. Here we present a continuous, first-of-its-kind 1.3-My record of continental hydroclimate and lake-level variability derived from drill core data(More)
The Tanganyika continental rift basin is one of the most important structural features of the East African rift system and provides an opportunity to observe the early stages of rift basin development unobscured by postrift deformation and erosion. The geometry of half grabens and their zones of linkage have a great influence on rift development and(More)