Rainfall variations in central Indo-Pacific over the past 2,700 y

Tan, Liangcheng, Shen, Chuan-Chou, Löwemark, Ludvig, Chawchai, Sakonvan, Edwards, R. Lawrence, Cai, Yanjun, Breitenbach, Sebastian, Cheng, Hai, Chou, Yu-Chen, Duerrast, Helmut, Partin, Judson W., Cai, Wenju, Chabangborn, Akkaneewut, Gao, Yongli, Kwiecien, Ola, Wu, Chung-Che, Shi, Zhengguo, Hsu, Huang-Hsiung and Wohlfarth, Barbara (2019) Rainfall variations in central Indo-Pacific over the past 2,700 y. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116 (35). pp. 17201-17206. ISSN 0027-8424

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1903167116

Abstract

Tropical rainfall variability is closely linked to meridional shifts of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and zonal movements of the Walker circulation. The characteristics and mechanisms of tropical rainfall variations on centennial to decadal scales are, however, still unclear. Here, we reconstruct a replicated stalagmite-based 2,700-y-long, continuous record of rainfall for the deeply convective northern central Indo-Pacific (NCIP) region. Our record reveals decreasing rainfall in the NCIP over the past 2,700 y, similar to other records from the northern tropics. Notable centennial- to decadal-scale dry climate episodes occurred in both the NCIP and the southern central Indo-Pacific (SCIP) during the 20th century [Current Warm Period (CWP)] and the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), resembling enhanced El Niño-like conditions. Further, we developed a 2,000-y-long ITCZ shift index record that supports an overall southward ITCZ shift in the central Indo-Pacific and indicates southward mean ITCZ positions during the early MWP and the CWP. As a result, the drying trend since the 20th century in the northern tropics is similar to that observed during the past warm period, suggesting that a possible anthropogenic forcing of rainfall remains indistinguishable from natural variability.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: central Indo-Pacific, rainfall, ENSO, ITCZ, stalagmite
Subjects: F600 Geology
F700 Ocean Sciences
F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2020 11:39
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2020 11:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/41928

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