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      See–saw relationship of the Holocene East Asian–Australian summer monsoon

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          Abstract

          The East Asian–Indonesian–Australian summer monsoon (EAIASM) links the Earth's hemispheres and provides a heat source that drives global circulation. At seasonal and inter-seasonal timescales, the summer monsoon of one hemisphere is linked via outflows from the winter monsoon of the opposing hemisphere. Long-term phase relationships between the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and the Indonesian–Australian summer monsoon (IASM) are poorly understood, raising questions of long-term adjustments to future greenhouse-triggered climate change and whether these changes could ‘lock in' possible IASM and EASM phase relationships in a region dependent on monsoonal rainfall. Here we show that a newly developed nonlinear time series analysis technique allows confident identification of strong versus weak monsoon phases at millennial to sub-centennial timescales. We find a see–saw relationship over the last 9,000 years—with strong and weak monsoons opposingly phased and triggered by solar variations. Our results provide insights into centennial- to millennial-scale relationships within the wider EAIASM regime.

          Abstract

          Irregular sampling of palaeoproxies can result in the misinterpretation of environmental records. Here, the authors propose a new time series analysis method for irregularly sampled data, and reveal a see-saw relationship between the East Asian and Indonesian–Australian summer monsoons during the Holocene.

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          Most cited references 11

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          The Holocene Asian monsoon: links to solar changes and North Atlantic climate.

          A 5-year-resolution absolute-dated oxygen isotope record from Dongge Cave, southern China, provides a continuous history of the Asian monsoon over the past 9000 years. Although the record broadly follows summer insolation, it is punctuated by eight weak monsoon events lasting approximately 1 to 5 centuries. One correlates with the "8200-year" event, another with the collapse of the Chinese Neolithic culture, and most with North Atlantic ice-rafting events. Cross-correlation of the decadal- to centennial-scale monsoon record with the atmospheric carbon-14 record shows that some, but not all, of the monsoon variability at these frequencies results from changes in solar output.
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            Migrations and dynamics of the intertropical convergence zone.

            Rainfall on Earth is most intense in the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), a narrow belt of clouds centred on average around six degrees north of the Equator. The mean position of the ITCZ north of the Equator arises primarily because the Atlantic Ocean transports energy northward across the Equator, rendering the Northern Hemisphere warmer than the Southern Hemisphere. On seasonal and longer timescales, the ITCZ migrates, typically towards a warming hemisphere but with exceptions, such as during El Niño events. An emerging framework links the ITCZ to the atmospheric energy balance and may account for ITCZ variations on timescales from years to geological epochs.
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              Influence of the intertropical convergence zone on the East Asian monsoon.

              The Asian-Australian monsoon is an important component of the Earth's climate system that influences the societal and economic activity of roughly half the world's population. The past strength of the rain-bearing East Asian summer monsoon can be reconstructed with archives such as cave deposits, but the winter monsoon has no such signature in the hydrological cycle and has thus proved difficult to reconstruct. Here we present high-resolution records of the magnetic properties and the titanium content of the sediments of Lake Huguang Maar in coastal southeast China over the past 16,000 years, which we use as proxies for the strength of the winter monsoon winds. We find evidence for stronger winter monsoon winds before the Bølling-Allerød warming, during the Younger Dryas episode and during the middle and late Holocene, when cave stalagmites suggest weaker summer monsoons. We conclude that this anticorrelation is best explained by migrations in the intertropical convergence zone. Similar migrations of the intertropical convergence zone have been observed in Central America for the period ad 700 to 900 (refs 4-6), suggesting global climatic changes at that time. From the coincidence in timing, we suggest that these migrations in the tropical rain belt could have contributed to the declines of both the Tang dynasty in China and the Classic Maya in Central America.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nat Commun
                Nat Commun
                Nature Communications
                Nature Publishing Group
                2041-1723
                26 September 2016
                2016
                : 7
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) , 14473 Potsdam, Germany
                [2 ]Department of Physics, Humboldt University , 12489 Berlin, Germany
                [3 ]School of Earth and Environment, The University of Western Australia , Crawley, Western Australia 6009, Australia
                [4 ]Department of Physics, Ege University , 35100 Izmir, Turkey
                [5 ]School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Western Australia , Crawley, Western Australia 6009, Australia
                [6 ]Sediment- and Isotope Geology, Institute for Geology, Mineralogy & Geophysics, Ruhr-Universität Bochum , Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
                [7 ]Institute for Complex Systems and Mathematical Biology, University of Aberdeen , Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK
                Author notes
                Article
                ncomms12929
                10.1038/ncomms12929
                5052686
                27666662
                Copyright © 2016, The Author(s)

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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