Indian summer monsoon forcing on the deglacial polar cold reversals

  • Virupaxa K Banakar
  • Sweta Baidya
  • Alexander M Piotrowski
  • D Shankar


The deglacial transition from the last glacial maximum at \(\sim \)20 kiloyears before present (ka) to the Holocene (11.7 ka to Present) was interrupted by millennial-scale cold reversals, viz., Antarctic Cold Reversal (\(\sim \)14.5–12.8 ka) and Greenland Younger Dryas (\(\sim \)12.8–11.8 ka) which had different timings and extent of cooling in each hemisphere. The cause of this synchronously initiated, but different hemispheric cooling during these cold reversals (Antarctic Cold Reversal \(\sim \)3\(^{\circ }\hbox {C}\) and Younger Dryas \(\sim \)10\(^{\circ }\hbox {C}\)) is elusive because \(\hbox {CO}_{2}\), the fundamental forcing for deglaciation, and Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, the driver of antiphased bipolar climate response, both fail to explain this asymmetry. We use centennial-resolution records of the local surface water \(\delta ^{18}\hbox {O}\) of the Eastern Arabian Sea, which constitutes a proxy for the precipitation associated with the Indian Summer Monsoon, and other tropical precipitation records to deduce the role of tropical forcing in the polar cold reversals. We hypothesize a mechanism for tropical forcing, via the Indian Summer Monsoons, of the polar cold reversals by migration of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone and the associated cross-equatorial heat transport.


Paleoclimate polar cold reversals ITCZ Indian monsoon Arabian Sea sediment core 



This work is the part of the GEOSINKS Program funded by the CSIR. DS thanks MoES for funding through their CTCZ program. The sediment core was collected with the assistance of crew on board RV Boris Petrov chartered by the MoES for Cobalt-Crust Exploration program. SB thanks CSIR for her research fellowship. We thank Mike Hall and James Rolfe for oxygen isotope measurements at Godwin Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK and DeMartino Mitzi of the Arizona University, USA for AMS-radiocarbon measurements. The constructive reviews by anonymous reviewers were of great help while revising the manuscript. This is NIO contribution No. 6024.


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virupaxa K Banakar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sweta Baidya
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alexander M Piotrowski
    • 3
  • D Shankar
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIR-National Institute of OceanographyDona Paula, GoaIndia
  2. 2.Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), CSIR-NIOGoaIndia
  3. 3.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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