Southern Hemisphere control on Australian monsoon variability during the late deglaciation and Holocene

Wolfgang Kuhnt*, Ann Holbourn, Jian Xu, Bradley Opdyke, Patrick De Deckker, Ursula Röhl, Manfred Mudelsee

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    89 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The evolution of the Australian monsoon in relation to high-latitude temperature fluctuations over the last termination remains highly enigmatic. Here we integrate high-resolution riverine runoff and dust proxy data from X-ray fluorescence scanner measurements in four well-dated sediment cores, forming a NE-SW transect across the Timor Sea. Our records reveal that the development of the Australian monsoon closely followed the deglacial warming history of Antarctica. A minimum in riverine runoff documents dry conditions throughout the region during the Antarctic Cold Reversal (15-12.9 ka). Massive intensification of the monsoon coincided with Southern Hemisphere warming and intensified greenhouse forcing over Australia during the atmospheric CO2 rise at 12.9-10 ka. We relate the earlier onset of the monsoon in the Timor Strait (13.4 ka) to regional changes in landmass exposure during deglacial sea-level rise. A return to dryer conditions occurred between 8.1 and 7.3 ka following the early Holocene runoff maximum.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number5916
    JournalNature Communications
    Volume6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2015

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