Research ArticleCLIMATOLOGY

Hydroclimate footprint of pan-Asian monsoon water isotope during the last deglaciation

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Science Advances  22 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 4, eabe2611
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe2611


Oxygen isotope speleothem records exhibit coherent variability over the pan-Asian summer monsoon (AM) region. The hydroclimatic representation of these oxygen isotope records for the AM, however, has remained poorly understood. Here, combining an isotope-enabled Earth system model in transient experiments with proxy records, we show that the widespread AM δ18Oc signal during the last deglaciation (20 to 11 thousand years ago) is accompanied by a continental-scale, coherent hydroclimate footprint, with spatially opposite signs in rainfall. This footprint is generated as a dynamically coherent response of the AM system primarily to meltwater forcing and secondarily to insolation forcing and is further reinforced by atmospheric teleconnection. Hence, widespread δ18Op depletion in the AM region is accompanied by a northward migration of the westerly jet and enhanced southwesterly monsoon wind, as well as increased rainfall from South Asia (India) to northern China but decreased rainfall in southeast China.

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