See-saw relationship of the Holocene East Asian-Australian summer monsoon

Deniz Eroglu, Fiona H. McRobie, Ibrahim Ozken, Thomas Stemler, Karl-Heinz Wyrwoll, Sebastian F. M. Breitenbach, Norbert Marwan, Jürgen Kurths

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The East Asian-Indonesian-Australian summer monsoon (EAIASM) links the Earth's hemispheres and provides a heat source that drives global circulation. At seasonal and inter-seasonal timescales, the summer monsoon of one hemisphere is linked via outflows from the winter monsoon of the opposing hemisphere. Long-term phase relationships between the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and the Indonesian-Australian summer monsoon (IASM) are poorly understood, raising questions of long-term adjustments to future greenhouse-triggered climate change and whether these changes could 'lock in' possible IASM and EASM phase relationships in a region dependent on monsoonal rainfall. Here we show that a newly developed nonlinear time series analysis technique allows confident identification of strong versus weak monsoon phases at millennial to sub-centennial timescales. We find a see-saw relationship over the last 9,000 years-with strong and weak monsoons opposingly phased and triggered by solar variations. Our results provide insights into centennial- to millennial-scale relationships within the wider EAIASM regime.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12929
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2016

Bibliographical note

D.E. and N.M. acknowledge support by the Leibniz Association (WGL) under Grant No. SAW-2013-IZW-2. F.H.M.’s research is funded through an Australian Postgraduate Award. I.O. is financially supported from TUBITAK under 2214/A program and by Ege University under the Research Project number 2015FEN028. This study received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 691037. The publication of this article was funded by the Open Access Fund of the Leibniz Association. K.H.W. thank Rhawn F. Denniston for his wider involvement in the northwest Australian monsoon project and the Kimberley Foundation Australia for financial support for this project and Paul Wyrwoll for helpful comments. We are also grateful to Yanjun Cai for providing the Lake Qinghai record.


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