A High-Resolution Millennial Record of the South Asian Monsoon from Himalayan Ice Cores

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Science  15 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5486, pp. 1916-1919
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5486.1916

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A high-resolution ice core record from Dasuopu, Tibet, reveals that this site is sensitive to fluctuations in the intensity of the South Asian Monsoon. Reductions in monsoonal intensity are recorded by dust and chloride concentrations. The deeper, older sections of the Dasuopu cores suggest many other periods of drought in this region, but none have been of greater intensity than the greatest recorded drought, during 1790 to 1796 A.D. of the last millennium. The 20th century increase in anthropogenic activity in India and Nepal, upwind from this site, is recorded by a doubling of chloride concentrations and a fourfold increase in dust. Like other ice cores from the Tibetan Plateau, Dasuopu suggests a large-scale, plateau-wide 20th-century warming trend that appears to be amplified at higher elevations.

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