Strong coupling of Asian Monsoon and Antarctic climates on sub-orbital timescales

TitleStrong coupling of Asian Monsoon and Antarctic climates on sub-orbital timescales
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsChen S, Wang Y, Cheng H, Edwards R L, Wang X, Kong X, Liu D
JournalScientific Reports
Date Published09/2016

There is increasing evidence that millennial-scale climate variability played an active role on orbital-cale climate changes, but the mechanism for this remains unclear. A Th-230-dated stalagmite delta O-18 record between 88 and 22 thousand years (ka) ago from Yongxing Cave in central China characterizes changes in Asian monsoon (AM) strength. After removing the 65 degrees N insolation signal from our record, the delta O-18 residue is strongly anti-phased with Antarctic temperature variability on sub-orbital timescales during the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3. Furthermore, once the ice volume signal from Antarctic ice core records were removed and extrapolated back to the last two glacial-interglacial cycles, we observe a linear relationship for both short-and long-duration events between Asian and Antarctic climate changes. This provides the robust evidence of a link between northern and southern hemisphere climates that operates through changes in atmospheric circulation. We find that the weakest monsoon closely associated with the warmest Antarctic event always occurred during the Terminations. This finding, along with similar shifts in the opal flux record, suggests that millennial-scale events play a key role in driving the deglaciation through positive feedbacks associated with enhanced upwelling and increasing CO2.