Northward extent of East Asian monsoon covaries with intensity on orbital and millennial timescales

Yonaton Goldsmith*, Wallace S. Broecker, Hai Xu, Pratigya J. Polissar, Peter B. DeMenocal, Naomi Porat, Jianghu Lan, Peng Cheng, Weijian Zhou, Zhisheng An

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations

Abstract

The magnitude, rate, and extent of past and future East Asian monsoon (EAM) rainfall fluctuations remain unresolved. Here, late Pleistocene-Holocene EAM rainfall intensity is reconstructed using a well-dated northeastern China closed-basin lake area record located at the modern northwestern fringe of the EAM. The EAM intensity and northern extent alternated rapidly between wet and dry periods on time scales of centuries. Lake levels were 60 m higher than present during the early and middle Holocene, requiring a twofold increase in annual rainfall, which, based on modern rainfall distribution, requires a ∼400 km northward expansion/migration of the EAM. The lake record is highly correlated with both northern and southern Chinese cave deposit isotope records, supporting rainfall "intensity based" interpretations of these deposits as opposed to an alternative "water vapor sourcing" interpretation. These results indicate that EAM intensity and the northward extent covary on orbital and millennial timescales. The termination of wet conditions at 5.5 ka BP (∼35 m lake drop) triggered a large cultural collapse of Early Neolithic cultures in north China, and possibly promoted the emergence of complex societies of the Late Neolithic.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1817-1821
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume114
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Chinese cave record
  • Closed-basin lake
  • East Asian monsoon
  • Northward expansion
  • Paleo-rainfall

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Northward extent of East Asian monsoon covaries with intensity on orbital and millennial timescales'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this