Indian summer monsoon variability in northeastern India during the last two millennia

Som Dutt, Anil K. Gupta, Hai Cheng, Steven C. Clemens, Raj K. Singh, Vinod C. Tewari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

High-resolution proxy records help to understand natural forcing of climate variability and improving our capability to predict climate variability on decadal to centennial time scales. Present study from the Mawmluh cave, northeastern India shows sudden shifts in speleothem oxygen isotope values, indicating several abrupt changes in the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) during ~212 BCE to 1986 CE. Moderate ISM conditions prevailed during ~212 BCE to 400 CE punctuated with weak intervals, strong ISM during 400 and 500 CE and from 640 to 1060 CE, whereas weak ISM conditions prevailed during 520–540 CE, 820–850 CE and 940–980 CE and after 1060 CE. The interval from 1060 to 1986 CE witnessed decreased precipitation than the previous millennium. The latter phase of the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA; 1060 to 1200 CE) was quite drier in contrast to the earlier intervals. The ISM was generally weak during the Little Ice Age (LIA; 1350 to 1850 CE) with short-term pulses of high precipitation when sun-spot activity was high. The data shows the weakest ISM condition during 1640–1740 CE (Maunder Minimum) of the last two millennia. Variations in extra-tropical northern hemisphere temperatures due to volcanic activity and solar insolation, and accompanying northward/southward shifting of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone played a pivotal role in modulating the strength of the ISM during the past two millennia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalQuaternary International
Volume571
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 10 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
S.D. thanks the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology for providing infrastructure facilities under contribution number WIHG/0105. A.K.G. thanks the Department of Science and Technology , New Delhi for funding under Sir J.C. Bose fellowship (SR/S2/JCB-80/2011). RKS acknowledges IIT Bhubaneswar (SP 053) and MoES , Govt. of India (RP-088) for support. H.C. acknowledges the support from the NSFC (Grant No. 41888101 ). Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology provided the infrastructure and basic facilities to carry out this research. Editor and two anonymous reviewers are also thanked for their comments and suggestions that helped in improving the manuscript. Data for this study can be downloaded at https://doi.org/10.17632/58bs5hctxr.3 .

Funding Information:
S.D. thanks the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology for providing infrastructure facilities under contribution number WIHG/0105. A.K.G. thanks the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi for funding under Sir J.C. Bose fellowship (SR/S2/JCB-80/2011). RKS acknowledges IIT Bhubaneswar (SP 053) and MoES, Govt. of India (RP-088) for support. H.C. acknowledges the support from the NSFC (Grant No. 41888101). Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology provided the infrastructure and basic facilities to carry out this research. Editor and two anonymous reviewers are also thanked for their comments and suggestions that helped in improving the manuscript. Data for this study can be downloaded at https://doi.org/10.17632/58bs5hctxr.3.

Keywords

  • Indian subcontinent
  • LIA
  • Last millennium
  • Late holocene
  • MCA
  • Speleothems

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