Southern Hemisphere forcing of South Asian monsoon precipitation over the past ~1 million years

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Gebregiorgis, Daniel
Hathorne, Ed C.
Giosan, Liviu
Clemens, Steven C.
Nürnberg, Dirk
Frank, Martin
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The orbital-scale timing of South Asian monsoon (SAM) precipitation is poorly understood. Here we present new SST and seawater δ18O (δ18Osw) records from the Bay of Bengal, the core convective region of the South Asian monsoon, over the past 1 million years. Our records reveal that SAM precipitation peaked in the precession band ~9 kyrs after Northern Hemisphere summer insolation maxima, in phase with records of SAM winds in the Arabian Sea and eastern Indian Ocean. Precession-band variance, however, accounts for ~30% of the total variance of SAM precipitation while it was either absent or dominant in records of the East Asian monsoon (EAM). This and the observation that SAM precipitation was phase locked with obliquity minima and was sensitive to Southern Hemisphere warming provides clear evidence that SAM and EAM precipitation responded differently to orbital forcing and highlights the importance of internal processes forcing monsoon variability.
© The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Nature Communications 9 (2018): 4702, doi:10.1038/s41467-018-07076-2.
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Nature Communications 9 (2018): 4702
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