Long-/Short-Term Variations of Monsoon Climate and its Tele-Connection to Global Change

High Resolution Grain Size Records of Siliciclastic Sediments from the South China Sea
  • Luejiang Wang
  • Michael Sarnthein


Core 17940-1/2 (20°07′N, 117°23′E; 1727-1728m water depth) from the South China Sea provides a high resolution marine sediment record, up to bidecadal in the Holocene and 80–100 years in last glacial time, for reconstructing the East Asian monsoon climate change during the past 41,000 years. A fundamental change happened in the monsoon climate during the last deglaciation, when the winter monsoon dominated glacial regime changed to a summer monsoon dominated Holocene regime. Comparison to the GISP2 ice core record suggested climatic tele-connections between the low latitude East Asian Monsoon climate and that over the high latitude Greenland during the last glacial period. Episodic short-term periods of increased summer monsoon precipitation and decreased winter monsoon wind intensity are correlated to the warm periods of Dansgaard-Oeschger events 1–10. Periods of relatively intensified winter monsoon wind and reduced summer monsoon precipitation are correlated to the Heinrich events 1–4. The possible link in this tele-connection is believed to lie in the oscillation in atmospheric circulation rather than oceanic thermohaline circulation, with a counterbalance between the westerlies and the monsoon wind. Whenever the high latitude polar Greenland was warmed up, the westerlies may have been reduced in strength and/or extension. Consequently, it is postulated that the summer monsoon circulation would have culminated in East Asia due to the increased contrast in land-sea air pressure during summer, when the low pressure cell over mid-high latitude land areas was intensified due to the high-latitude warming. The opposite scenario is suggested for the Heinrich events. In addition, an intra-hemispheric joint forcing is evidenced for the Early Holocene-Preboreal summer monsoon maximum between 11,600–8,800cal. yBP, based on the synchrony of the events found both in the South China Sea and in the Arabian Sea. The unique early Holocene polar cooling event at about 8,200cal. yBP recorded in the Greenland ice core is found to coincide with a large-scale perturbation in the low latitude summer monsoon precipitation.


Summer Monsoon Last Glacial Maximum Winter Monsoon East Asian Monsoon Eolian Dust 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luejiang Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael Sarnthein
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of Environmental Earth ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.Institute of GeosciencesKiel UniversityKielGermany

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