Monsoons are the dominant seasonal mode of climate variability in the tropics and are critically important conveyors of atmospheric moisture and energy at a global scale. Predicting monsoons, which have profound impacts on regions that are collectively home to more than 70 per cent of Earth’s population, is a challenge that is difficult to overcome by relying on instrumental data from only the past few decades. Palaeoclimatic evidence of monsoon rainfall dynamics across different regions and timescales could help us to understand and predict the sensitivity and response of monsoons to various forcing mechanisms. This evidence suggests that monsoon systems exhibit substantial regional character.
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We are grateful to J. H. C. Bosmans for providing Fig. 3. We thank F. He, Z. Liu and B. Otto-Bliesner for making the TraCE-21k model output available via the Earth System Grid (National Center for Atmospheric Research). This study is supported by the DFG Research Centre/Cluster of Excellence ‘The Ocean in the Earth System’ and the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) grants 03G0228A (EISPAC), 03G0828A (TransGeoBiOc) and 03G0484A (INVERS).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Mohtadi, M., Prange, M. & Steinke, S. Palaeoclimatic insights into forcing and response of monsoon rainfall. Nature 533, 191–199 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature17450
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