Two Hundred Fifty Years of Reconstructed South Asian Summer Monsoon Intensity and Decadal?Scale Variability Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Climate model simulations of the summer South Asian monsoon predict increased rainfall in response to anthropogenic warming. However, instrumental data show a decline in Indian rainfall in recent decades, underscoring the critical need for additional, independent records of past monsoon variability. Here, we present new reconstructions of annual summer South Asian Monsoon circulation over the past 250 years, based on the geochemical barium?calcium signature of dust present in Red Sea corals. These records reveal how monsoon circulation has evolved with warming climate and indicate a significant multi?century long monsoon intensification, with decreased multidecadal variance. Stronger monsoon circulation would have increased the moisture transport from the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal over the Indian subcontinent. If these trends continue, the monsoon circulation and associated moisture transport and precipitation will remain strong and stable for several decades.

publication date

  • April 16, 2019