Research Article

Nonstationary Phase of the Plio-Pleistocene Asian Monsoon

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Science  08 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5289, pp. 943-948
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5289.943


Paleoclimate records indicate that the strength of the Asian summer monsoon is sensitive to orbital forcing at the obliquity and precession periods (41,000 and 23,000 years, respectively) and the extent of Northern Hemisphere glaciation. Over the past 2.6 million years, the timing (phase) of strong monsoons has changed by ∼83 degrees in the precession and ∼124 degrees in the obliquity bands relative to the phase of maximum global ice volume (inferred from the marine oxygen isotope record). These results suggest that one or both of these systems is nonstationary relative to orbital forcing.