Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The 4.2 ka BP Event in the Mediterranean region: an overview

Bini, Monica; Zanchetta, Giovanni; Per?oiu, Aurel; Cartier, Rosine; Català, Albert; Cacho, Isabel; Dean, Jonathan R.; Di Rita, Federico; Drysdale, Russell N.; Finnè, Martin; Isola, Ilaria; Jalali, Bassem; Lirer, Fabrizio; Magri, Donatella; Masi, Alessia; Marks, Leszek; Mercuri, Anna Maria; Peyron, Odile; Sadori, Laura; Sicre, Marie Alexandrine; Welc, Fabian; Zielhofer, Christoph; Brisset, Elodie


Monica Bini

Giovanni Zanchetta

Aurel Per?oiu

Rosine Cartier

Albert Català

Isabel Cacho

Profile Image

Dr Jonathan Dean
Director of Admissions for Geography, Environmental Science & Earth Science | Lecturer in Quaternary Science

Federico Di Rita

Russell N. Drysdale

Martin Finnè

Ilaria Isola

Bassem Jalali

Fabrizio Lirer

Donatella Magri

Alessia Masi

Leszek Marks

Anna Maria Mercuri

Odile Peyron

Laura Sadori

Marie Alexandrine Sicre

Fabian Welc

Christoph Zielhofer

Elodie Brisset


© Author(s) 2019. The Mediterranean region and the Levant have returned some of the clearest evidence of a climatically dry period occurring around 4200 years ago. However, some regional evidence is controversial and contradictory, and issues remain regarding timing, progression, and regional articulation of this event. In this paper, we review the evidence from selected proxies (sea-surface temperature, precipitation, and temperature reconstructed from pollen, δ 18 O on speleothems, and δ 18 O on lacustrine carbonate) over the Mediterranean Basin to infer possible regional climate patterns during the interval between 4.3 and 3.8 ka. The values and limitations of these proxies are discussed, and their potential for furnishing information on seasonality is also explored. Despite the chronological uncertainties, which are the main limitations for disentangling details of the climatic conditions, the data suggest that winter over the Mediterranean involved drier conditions, in addition to already dry summers. However, some exceptions to this prevail - where wetter conditions seem to have persisted - suggesting regional heterogeneity in climate patterns. Temperature data, even if sparse, also suggest a cooling anomaly, even if this is not uniform. The most common paradigm to interpret the precipitation regime in the Mediterranean - a North Atlantic Oscillation-like pattern - is not completely satisfactory to interpret the selected data.


Bini, M., Zanchetta, G., Perşoiu, A., Cartier, R., Català, A., Cacho, I., …Brisset, E. (2019). The 4.2 ka BP Event in the Mediterranean region: an overview. Climate of the Past, 15(2), 555-577.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 26, 2019
Online Publication Date Mar 27, 2019
Publication Date Mar 27, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 1, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Climate of the Past
Print ISSN 1814-9324
Electronic ISSN 1814-9332
Publisher European Geosciences Union
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 2
Pages 555-577
Public URL
Publisher URL


Published article (9.2 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations