Holocene weak summer East Asian monsoon intervals in subtropical Taiwan and their global synchronicity
K. Selvaraj1, C.-T. A. Chen1, and J.-Y. Lou21Institute of Marine Geology and Chemistry, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan 2Department of Marine Science, Naval Academy, P.O. Box 90175, Tsoying, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Received: 22 Jul 2008 – Discussion started: 13 Aug 2008
Abstract. Sedimentary total organic carbon and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio records from the subalpine Retreat Lake in NE Taiwan reveal four centennial periods (~8–8.3, 5.1–5.7, 4.5–~2.1, and 2–1.6 kyr BP) of relatively reduced summer East Asian monsoon (EAM) precipitation that were superimposed on the insolation-dependent, long-term decreasing monsoon trend during the middle and late Holocene while early Holocene monsoon strength was controlled by glacial boundary conditions. Strikingly, all weak monsoon events correlate with the timings of low sea surface temperature in the tropical Pacific, maxima of hematite stained-grains in the sediments of North Atlantic, reduced formation of North Atlantic Deep Water, and low concentrations of atmospheric methane over Greenland, suggesting a globally well-connected postglacial climate (from ca. 8.6 kyr BP onwards). Persistent linkage of weak summer EAM-tropical Pacific and North Atlantic cooling-reduced global wetland extent during these intervals is believed to be driven by coupled ocean-atmosphere interactions, especially reduced heat and moisture transport and enhanced El Niño-Southern Oscillation in the tropical Pacific, as well as solar activity. Overall similarity of summer EAM with diverse proxy records and their coincidence to abrupt changes witnessed in other paleorecords across the world imply that the centennial-scale reorganizations in the tropical Pacific climate dynamics may have been playing an important role, of course closely in phase with solar variations and North Atlantic climate, in the Holocene summer EAM and, by extension, low-latitude's monsoon instability.
Selvaraj, K., Chen, C.-T. A., and Lou, J.-Y.: Holocene weak summer East Asian monsoon intervals in subtropical Taiwan and their global synchronicity, Clim. Past Discuss., 4, 929-953, doi:10.5194/cpd-4-929-2008, 2008.