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Increase in the Asian Southwest Monsoon During the Past Four Centuries

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Science  26 Jul 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5581, pp. 596-599
DOI: 10.1126/science.1072881

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Abstract

Climate reconstructions reveal unprecedented warming in the past century; however, little is known about trends in aspects such as the monsoon. We reconstructed the monsoon winds for the past 1000 years using fossil Globigerina bulloides abundance in box cores from the Arabian Sea and found that monsoon wind strength increased during the past four centuries as the Northern Hemisphere warmed. We infer that the observed link between Eurasian snow cover and the southwest monsoon persists on a centennial scale. Alternatively, the forcing implicated in the warming trend (volcanic aerosols, solar output, and greenhouse gases) may directly affect the monsoon. Either interpretation is consistent with the hypothesis that the southwest monsoon strength will increase during the coming century as greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise and northern latitudes continue to warm.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: dma{at}ngdc.noaa.gov

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