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Title: The Asian monsoon over the past 640,000 years and ice age terminations
Authors: Cheng, Hai
Edwards, R. Lawrence
Sinha, Ashish
Spötl, Christoph
Yi, Liang
Chen, Shitao
Kelly, Megan
Kathayat, Gayatri
Wang, Xianfeng
Li, Xianglei
Kong, Xinggong
Wang, Yongjin
Ning, Youfeng
Zhang, Haiwei
Keywords: Social sciences::Geography
Issue Date: 2016
Source: Cheng, H., Edwards, R. L., Sinha, A., Spötl, C., Yi, L., Chen, S., . . . Zhang, H. (2016). The Asian monsoon over the past 640,000 years and ice age terminations. Nature, 534(7609), 640-646. doi:10.1038/nature18591
Project: NRF-NRFF2011-08 
Journal: Nature 
Abstract: Oxygen isotope records from Chinese caves characterize changes in both the Asian monsoon and global climate. Here, using our new speleothem data, we extend the Chinese record to cover the full uranium/thorium dating range, that is, the past 640,000 years. The record's length and temporal precision allow us to test the idea that insolation changes caused by the Earth's precession drove the terminations of each of the last seven ice ages as well as the millennia-long intervals of reduced monsoon rainfall associated with each of the terminations. On the basis of our record's timing, the terminations are separated by four or five precession cycles, supporting the idea that the '100,000-year' ice age cycle is an average of discrete numbers of precession cycles. Furthermore, the suborbital component of monsoon rainfall variability exhibits power in both the precession and obliquity bands, and is nearly in anti-phase with summer boreal insolation. These observations indicate that insolation, in part, sets the pace of the occurrence of millennial-scale events, including those associated with terminations and 'unfinished terminations'.
ISSN: 0028-0836
DOI: 10.1038/nature18591
Rights: © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. This paper was published in Nature and is made available with permission of Macmillan Publishers Limited.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:EOS Journal Articles

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