Hong, Y.T., Hong, B., Lin, Q.H., Zhu, Y.X., Shibata, Y., Hirota, M., Uchida, M., Leng, X.T., Jiang, H.B., Xu, H., Wang, H. and Yi., L. 2003. Correlation between Indian Ocean summer monsoon and North Atlantic climate during the Holocene. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 211: 371-380.
What was done
The authors developed what they call "a high-resolution composite proxy record for the Indian Ocean summer monsoon spanning around 12,000 years based on the ð13C time series of both a single plant species (Carex mulieensis) remains cellulose and the total plant assemblage cellulose in the Hongyuan peat bog from the Tibet Plateau."
What was learned
In the words of the authors, "on centennial to millennial time scales there is a close teleconnection between the Indian Ocean summer monsoon variations and the abrupt climate change events characterized by the IRD [ice-rafted debris] events in the North Atlantic over the last 12,000 years." In fact, they report that "corresponding to each of the eight IRD events in the North Atlantic the monsoon strength decreased clearly, which shows that the close correlation between the Indian Ocean summer monsoon and the North Atlantic climate is present not only in the last glacial, but also in the Holocene." They also discuss model evidence that suggests "the ocean thermohaline circulation may play a linking role for the teleconnective variations between the Indian Ocean summer monsoon and the North Atlantic climate."
What it means
Hong et al.'s study indicates yet again that the millennial-scale oscillation of climate that is so evident in the region of the North Atlantic Ocean is truly global in scope, as one can readily see by going to Climate Oscillations (Millennial Variability) in our Subject Index.
Reviewed 31 March 2004