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Glacial-interglacial Indian summer monsoon dynamics

  • Zhisheng, A.
  • Clemens, S. C.
  • Shen, J.
  • Qiang, X.
  • Jin, Z.
  • Sun, Y.
  • Prell, W. L.
  • Luo, J.
  • Wang, S.
  • Xu, H.
  • Cai, Y.
  • Zhou, W.
  • Liu, X.
  • Liu, W.
  • Shi, Z.
  • Yan, L.
  • Xiao, X.
The modern Indian summer monsoon (ISM) is characterized by exceptionally strong interhemispheric transport, indicating the importance of both Northern and Southern Hemisphere processes driving monsoon variability. Here, we present a high-resolution continental record from southwestern China that demonstrates the importance of interhemispheric forcing in driving ISM variability at the glacial-interglacial time scale as well. Interglacial ISM maxima are dominated by an enhanced Indian low associated with global ice volume minima. In contrast, the glacial ISM reaches a minimum, and actually begins to increase, before global ice volume reaches a maximum. We attribute this early strengthening to an increased cross-equatorial pressure gradient derived from Southern Hemisphere high-latitude cooling. This mechanism explains much of the nonorbital scale variance in the Pleistocene ISM record.



  • Journal:
    Science, 2011 Aug 5; 333(6043)
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