We present a comprehensive summary of the available palaeoclimate records from India and compare the results from different proxies. The results indicate (i) fluctuating lake levels during the early Holocene. The period of relatively higher lake levels from increased precipitation efficiency was reached only ∼7.2-6.0 cal kyr BP, possibly due to increased contribution from winter rainfall; (ii) the onset of aridity in NW India could have begun as early as ∼5.3 cal kyr BP. Subsequently, there were multiple wet events but of shorter duration and smaller magnitude than during the mid Holocene; (iii) there is evidence of several short term climate events in the proxy record. However, in the absence of a rigorous chronological framework a detailed regional correlation is not possible at this stage. Finally, a comparison between marine and terrestrial records indicates that episodes of strongest and weakest monsoon winds were not always associated with wettest and driest episodes respectively in the NW Indian lakes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
YE research was supported by NSF grants EAR-9104489 and EAR-9417896 to Lisa L. Ely and V.R. Baker. YE also appreciates fruitful discussions with R.J. Wasson, S.N. Rajaguru, S. Misra and M. Staubwasser that helped formulate new ideas. SP acknowledges useful discussions with K. Rupa Kumar, H. Borgaonkar and S.K. Gupta.
- Indus valley civilisation