The responses of Asian monsoon subsystems to both hemispheric climate forcing and external orbital forcing are currently issues of vigorous debate. The Indian summer monsoon is the dominant monsoon subsystem in terms of energy flux, constituting one of Earth’s most dynamic expressions of ocean–atmosphere interactions. Yet, the Indian summer monsoon is grossly under-represented in Asian monsoon palaeoclimate records. Here, we present high-resolution records of Indian summer monsoon-induced rainfall and fluvial runoff recovered in a sediment core from the Bay of Bengal across Termination II, 139–127 thousand years ago, including coupled measurements of the oxygen isotopic composition and Mg/Ca, Mn/Ca, Nd/Ca and U/Ca ratios in surface-ocean-dwelling foraminifera. Our data reveal a millennial-scale transient strengthening of the Asian monsoon that punctuates Termination II associated with an oscillation of the bipolar seesaw. The progression of deglacial warming across Termination II emerges first in the Southern Hemisphere, then the tropics in tandem with Indian summer monsoon strengthening, and finally the Northern Hemisphere. We therefore suggest that the Indian summer monsoon was a conduit for conveying Southern Hemisphere latent heat northwards, thereby promoting subsequent Northern Hemisphere deglaciation.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $15.58 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Data generated from this study (IODP Expedition 353; Site U1446) are available via the National Geoscience Data Centre (https://doi.org/10.5285/061d77af-a805-4cf0-b969-0b8f042fae74). Antarctic EDC ice core records presented on AICC2012 chronology are available from https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.824883 and https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.824891. The EASM composite speleothem δ18O record is available from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo-search/study/20450. The Bittoo Cave speleothem δ18O record is available from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo-search/study/20449. ODP 983 and 1063 data are available as a supplementary dataset associated with ref. 54. ODP 976 western Mediterranean Sea SST data on Corchia radiometrically constrained chronology are available as a supplementary dataset associated with ref. 27. Data on benthic δ18O levels of sediment core PS75/059-2 are available at https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.833422. Data from sediment core PS75/059-2 on AICC2012 chronology are available at https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.826580.
Kutzbach, J. E. Monsoon climate of the early Holocene: climate experiment with the Earth’s orbital parameters for 9000 years ago. Science 214, 59–61 (1981).
Kathayat, G. et al. Indian monsoon variability on millennial-orbital timescales. Sci. Rep. 6, 24374 (2016).
Deplazes, G. et al. Weakening and strengthening of the Indian monsoon during Heinrich events and Dansgaard–Oeschger oscillations. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 29, 99–114 (2014).
Tierney, J. E., Pausata, F. S. R. & deMenocal, P. Deglacial Indian monsoon failure and North Atlantic stadials linked by Indian Ocean surface cooling. Nat. Geosci. 9, 46–50 (2015).
Orland, I. J. et al. Direct measurements of deglacial monsoon strength in a Chinese stalagmite. Geology 43, 555–558 (2015).
Cheng, H. et al. The Asian monsoon over the past 640,000 years and ice age terminations. Nature 534, 640–646 (2016).
Beck, J. W. et al. A 550,000-year record of East Asian monsoon rainfall from 10Be in loess. Science 360, 877–881 (2018).
Clemens, S. C. et al. Precession-band variance missing from East Asian monsoon runoff. Nat. Commun. 9, 3364 (2018).
Clemens, S. C. & Prell, W. L. 350,000 year summer-monsoon multi-proxy from the Owen Ridge, Northern Arabian Sea. Mar. Geol. 201, 35–51 (2003).
Caley, T. et al. New Arabian Sea records help decipher orbital timing of Indo-Asian monsoon. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 308, 433–444 (2011).
Gebregiorgis, D. et al. Southern Hemisphere forcing of South Asian monsoon precipitation over the past ~1 million years. Nat. Commun. 9, 4702 (2018).
Le Mézo, P., Beaufort, L., Bopp, L., Braconnot, P. & Kageyama, M. From monsoon to marine productivity in the Arabian Sea: insights from glacial and interglacial climates. Clim. Past 13, 759–778 (2017).
Bazin, L. et al. An optimized multi-proxy, multi-site Antarctic ice and gas orbital chronology (AICC2012): 120–800 ka. Clim. Past 9, 1715–1731 (2013).
Sarin, M. M., Krishnaswami, S., Somayajulu, B. L. K. & Moore, W. S. Chemistry of uranium, thorium, and radium isotopes in the Ganga-Brahmaputra river system: weathering processes and fluxes into the Bay of Bengal. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 54, 1387–1396 (1990).
Singh, S. P. et al. Spatial distribution of dissolved neodymium and ε Nd in the Bay of Bengal: role of particulate matter and mixing of water mass. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 94, 38–56 (2012).
Yu, Z. et al. Seasonal variations in dissolved neodymium isotope composition in the Bay of Bengal. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 479, 310–321 (2017).
Vance, D. & Burton, K. Neodymium isotopes in planktonic foraminifera: a record of the response of continental weathering and ocean circulation rates to climate change. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 173, 365–379 (1999).
Pomiès, C., Davies, G. R. & Conan, S. M.-H. Neodymium in modern foraminifera from the Indian Ocean: implications for the use of foraminiferal Nd isotope compositions in paleo-oceanography. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 203, 1031–1045 (2002).
Martínez-Botí, M. A., Vance, D. & Mortyn, P. G. Nd/Ca ratios in plankton-towed and core top foraminifera: confirmation of the water column acquisition of Nd. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 10, Q08018 (2009).
Boyle, E. A. & Keigwin, L. D. Comparison of Atlantic and Pacific paleochemical records for the last 215,000 years: changes in deep ocean circulation and chemical inventories. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 76, 135–150 (1985).
Russell, A. N., Emerson, S., Nelson, B. K., Erez, J. & Lea, D. W. Uranium in foraminiferal calcite as recorder of seawater uranium concentrations. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 58, 671–681 (1994).
Abdi, H. & Williams, L. J. in Encyclopoedia of Research Design 935–938 (ed. Salkind, N.) (Sage, Thousand Oaks, 2010).
Dearing, J. A. & Jones, R. T. Coupling temporal and spatial dimensions of global sediment flux through lake and marine sediment records. Glob. Planet. Change 39, 147–168 (2003).
McCreary, J. P., Kundu, P. K. & Molinari, R. L. A numerical investigation of dynamics, thermodynamics and mixed-layer processes in the Indian Ocean. Prog. Oceanogr. 31, 181–244 (1993).
Barker, S. et al. Interhemispheric Atlantic seesaw response during the last deglaciation. Nature 457, 1097–1101 (2009).
Broecker, W. S. & Henderson, G. M. The sequence of events surrounding Termination II and their implications for the cause of glacial-interglacial CO2 changes. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 13, 352–364 (1998).
Marino, G. et al. Bipolar seesaw control on last interglacial sea level. Nature 522, 197–201 (2015).
Knorr, G. & Lohmann, G. Rapid transitions in the Atlantic thermohaline circulation triggered by global warming and meltwater during the last deglaciation. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 8, Q12006 (2007).
Martrat, B., Jimenez-Amat, P., Zahn, R. & Grimalt, J. O. Similarities and dissimilarities between the last two deglaciations and interglaciations in the North Atlantic region. Quat. Sci. Rev. 99, 122–134 (2014).
Cheng, H. et al. Ice age terminations. Science 326, 248–252 (2009).
Scussolini, P., Marino, G., Brummer, G.-J. & Peeters, F. J. C. Saline Indian Ocean waters invaded the South Atlantic thermocline during glacial termination II. Geology 43, 139–142 (2015).
Carlson, A. E. & Winsor, K. Northern Hemisphere ice-sheet responses to past climate warming. Nat. Geosci. 5, 607–613 (2012).
Broccoli, A. J., Dahl, K. A. & Stouffer, R. J. Response of the ITCZ to Northern Hemisphere cooling. Geophys. Res. Lett. 33, L01702 (2006).
Laskar, J. et al. A long-term numerical solution for the insolation quantities of the Earth. Astron. Astrophys. 428, 261–285 (2004).
Mantis, D. F. et al. The response of large-scale circulation to obliquity-induced changes in meridional heating gradients. J. Clim. 27, 5504–5516 (2014).
Mudelsee, M. Ramp function regression: a tool for quantifying climate transitions. Comput. Geosci. 26, 293–307 (2000).
Rodwell, M. J. & Hoskins, B. J. Subtropical anticyclones and summer monsoons. J. Clim. 14, 3192–3211 (2001).
Loulergue, L. et al. Orbital and millennial-scale features of atmospheric CH4 over the past 800,000 years. Nature 453, 383–386 (2008).
Wang, B., Clemens, S. C. & Liu, P. Contrasting the Indian and East Asian monsoons: implications on geologic timescales. Mar. Geol. 201, 5–21 (2003).
Caley, T., Roche, D. M. & Renssen, H. Orbital Asian summer monsoon dynamics revealed using an isotope-enabled global climate model. Nat. Commun. 5, 5371 (2014).
Rodgers, K. B. et al. A tropical mechanism for Northern Hemisphere deglaciation. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 4, 1046 (2003).
Bolton, C. T. et al. A 500,000 year record of Indian summer monsoon dynamics recorded by eastern equatorial Indian Ocean upper water-column structure. Quat. Sci. Rev. 77, 167–180 (2013).
Budziak, D. et al. Late Quaternary insolation forcing on total organic carbon and C37 alkenone variations in the Arabian Sea. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 15, 307–321 (2000).
Ziegler, M. et al. Precession phasing offset between Indian summer monsoon and Arabian Sea productivity linked to changes in Atlantic overturning circulation. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 25, PA3213 (2010).
Reichart, G.-J., Lourens, L. J. & Zachariasse, W. J. Temporal variability in the northern Arabian Sea oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) during the last 225,000 years. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 13, 607–621 (1998).
Meissner, T. & Wentz, F. J. Remote Sensing Systems SMAP Ocean Surface Salinities (Level 3 Monthly) v.3.0 (Remote Sensing Systems, 2018); www.remss.com/missions/smap
Boyer, T. P. et al. World Ocean Database 2013 (National Environmental, Satellite, Data, and Information Service, 2013).
Barker, S. et al. Icebergs not the trigger for North Atlantic cold events. Nature 520, 333–336 (2015).
Kudrass, H. R., Hofmann, A., Doose, H., Emeis, K. & Erlenkeuser, H. Modulation and amplification of climatic changes in the Northern Hemisphere by the Indian summer monsoon during the past 80 k.y. Geology 29, 63–66 (2001).
Rashid, H., Flower, B. P., Poore, R. Z. & Quinn, T. M. A ~25 ka Indian Ocean monsoon variability record from the Andaman Sea. Quat. Sci. Rev. 26, 2586–2597 (2007).
Saraswat, R., Lea, D. W., Nigam, R., Mackensen, A. & Naik, D. K. Deglaciation in the tropical Indian Ocean driven by interplay between the regional monsoon and global teleconnections. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 375, 166–175 (2013).
Pahnke, K. & Sachs, J. P. Sea surface temperatures of southern midlatitudes 0–160 kyr B.P. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 21, PA2003 (2006).
Jouzel, J. et al. Orbital and millennial Antarctic climate variability over the past 800,000 years. Science 317, 793–795 (2007).
Deaney, E. L., Barker, S. & van de Flierdt, T. Timing and nature of AMOC recovery across Termination 2 and magnitude of deglacial CO2 change. Nat. Commun. 8, 14595 (2017).
Clemens, S. C. et al. In Proc. International Ocean Discovery Program 353 (International Ocean Discovery Program, 2016).
Shenoi, S. S. C., Shankar, D. & Shetye, S. R. Differences in heat budgets of the near-surface Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal: implications for the summer monsoon. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans 107, 3052 (2002).
Varkey, M. J., Murty, V. S. N. & Suryanarayana, A. Physical oceanography of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Annu. Rev. 34, 1–70 (1996).
Zweng, M. M. J. R. et al. World Ocean Atlas 2013. Volume 2: Salinity (eds Levitus, S. & Mishonov, A.) (National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, 2013).
Kemp, D. B. & Sexton, P. F. Time-scale uncertainty of abrupt events in the geologic record arising from unsteady sedimentation. Geology 42, 891–894 (2014).
Paillaird, D., Labeyrie, L. & Yiou, P. Macintosh Program performs time-series analysis. EOS Trans. 77, 379 (1996).
Ullermann, J. et al. Pacific–Atlantic circumpolar deep water coupling during the last 500 ka. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 31, 639–650 (2016).
Lamy, F. et al. Increased dust deposition in the Pacific Southern Ocean during glacial periods. Science 343, 403–407 (2014).
Lambert, F. et al. Dust–climate couplings over the past 800,000 years from the EPICA Dome C ice core. Nature 452, 616–619 (2008).
Caballero-Gill, R. P., Clemens, S. C. & Prell, W. L. Direct correlation of Chinese speleothem δ18O and South China Sea planktonic δ18O: transferring a speleothem chronology to the benthic marine chronology. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 27, PA2203 (2012).
Lisiecki, L. E. & Raymo, M. E. A Pliocene-Pleistocene stack of 57 globally distributed δ18O records. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 20, PA1003 (2005).
Haslett, J. & Parnell, A. A simple monotone process with application to radiocarbon-dated depth chronologies. J. R. Stat. Soc. Ser. C 57, 339–418 (2008).
Wang, L. Isotopic signals in two morphotypes of Globigerinoides ruber (white) from the South China Sea: implications for monsoon climate change during the last glacial cycle. Palaeogeogr. Palaeoclimatol. Palaeoecol. 161, 381–394 (2000).
Rosenthal, Y., Boyle, E. A. & Labeyrie, L. Last Glacial Maximum paleochemistry and deepwater circulation in the Southern Ocean: evidence from foraminiferal cadmium. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 12, 787–796 (1997).
Barker, S., Greaves, M. & Elderfield, H. A study of cleaning procedures used for foraminiferal Mg/Ca paleothermometry. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 4, 8407 (2003).
Gibbons, F. T. et al. Deglacial δ18O and hydrologic variability in the tropical Pacific and Indian oceans. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 387, 240–251 (2014).
Anand, P., Elderfield, H. & Conte, M. H. Calibration of Mg/Ca thermometry in planktonic foraminifera from a sediment trap time series. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 18, 1050 (2003).
Grant, K. M. et al. Rapid coupling between ice volume and polar temperature over the past 150,000 years. Nature 491, 744–747 (2012).
Adkins, J. F., McIntyre, K. & Schrag, D. P. The salinity, temperature, and δ18O of the glacial deep ocean. Science 298, 1769–1773 (2002).
Bemis, B. E., Spero, H. J., Bijma, J. & Lea, D. W. Reevaluation of the oxygen isotopic composition of planktonic foraminifera: experimental results and revised paleotemperature equations. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 13, 150–160 (1998).
Singh, A., Jani, R. A. & Ramesh, R. Spatiotemporal variations of the δ18O–salinity relation in the northern Indian Ocean. Deep Sea. Res. Pt I 57, 1422–1431 (2010).
Delaygue, G. et al. Oxygen isotope/salinity relationship in the northern Indian Ocean. J. Geophys. Res. 106, 4565–4574 (2001).
Gray, W. R. et al. The effects of temperature, salinity, and the carbonate system on Mg/Ca in Globigerinoides ruber (white): a global sediment trap calibration. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 482, 607–620 (2018).
Ravelo, A. C. & Fairbanks, R. G. Oxygen isotopic composition of multiple species of planktonic Foraminifera: recorders of the modern photic zone temperature gradient. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 7, 815–831 (1992).
Mohtadi, M. et al. Reconstructing the thermal structure of the upper ocean: insights from planktic foraminifera shell chemistry and alkenones in modern sediments of the tropical eastern Indian Ocean. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 26, PA3219 (2011).
Bevington, P. R. & Robinson, K. D. Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences 3rd edn (McGraw-Hill, New York, 2003).
Thirumalai, K., Quinn, T. M. & Marino, G. Constraining past seawater δ18O and temperature records developed from foraminiferal geochemistry. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 31, 1409–1422 (2016).
Milliman, J. D. & Syvitski, J. P. M. Geomorphic/tectonic control of sediment discharge to the ocean: the importance of small mountainous rivers. J. Geol. 100, 525–544 (1992).
Stewart, J. A., James, R. H., Anand, P. & Wilson, P. A. Silicate weathering and carbon cycle controls on the Oligocene–Miocene glaciation. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 32, 1070–1085 (2017).
Stewart, J. A., Gutjahr, M., James, R. H., Anand, P. & Wilson, P. A. Influence of the Amazon River on the Nd isotope composition of deep water in the western equatorial Atlantic during the Oligocene–Miocene transition. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 454, 132–141 (2016).
Calvert, S. E. & Price, N. B. Diffusion and reaction profiles of dissolved manganese in the pore waters of marine sediments. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 16, 245–249 (1972).
Thomson, J., Higgs, N. C., Croudace, I. W., Colley, S. & Hydes, D. J. Redox zonation of elements at an oxic/post-oxic boundary in deep-sea sediments. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 57, 579–595 (1993).
Calvert, S. E. & Pedersen, T. F. Geochemistry of recent oxic and anoxic marine sediments: implications for the geological record. Mar. Geol. 113, 67–88 (1993).
Burdige, D. J. The biogeochemistry of manganese and iron reduction in marine sediments. Earth Sci. Rev. 35, 249–284 (1993).
Yarincik, K. M., Murray, R. W., Lyons, T. W., Peterson, L. C. & Haug, G. H. Oxygenation history of bottom waters in the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela, over the past 578,000 years: results from redox-sensitive metals (Mo, V, Mn, and Fe). Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 15, 593–604 (2000).
Carlson, A. E. Why there was not a Younger Dryas-like event during the Penultimate Deglaciation. Quat. Sci. Rev. 27, 882–887 (2008).
Alley, R. B., Brook, E. J. & Anandakrishnan, S. A northern lead in the orbital band: north–south phasing of Ice-Age events. Quat. Sci. Rev. 21, 431–441 (2002).
Hays, J. D., Imbrie, K. & Shackleton, N. J. Variations in the Earth’s orbit: pacemaker of the ice ages. Science 194, 1121–1132 (1974).
Clark, P. U. et al. The Last Glacial Maximum. Science 325, 710–714 (2009).
He, F. et al. Northern Hemisphere forcing of Southern Hemisphere climate during the last deglaciation. Nature 494, 81–85 (2013).
Masson-Delmotte, V. et al. Abrupt change of Antarctic moisture origin at the end of Termination II. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 107, 12091–12094 (2010).
We thank P. Webb for help setting up the pXRF analysis, H. Sloane for help with the stable isotope analysis, and P. D. Naidu for providing the 2005 NBBT-05-S sediment traps. P.A. would like to express gratitude to Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, for drilling permissions for Expedition 353 and UK-IODP for funding support. P.A. would also like to thank Expedition 353 shipboard scientists for their efforts and Kochi Core Repository, Japan, for sampling support. SMAP salinity data are produced by Remote Sensing Systems and sponsored by the NASA Ocean Salinity Science Team. P.A. and K.N.-K. acknowledge funding through a NERC PhD grant (NE/L002493/1) associated with the CENTA Doctoral Training Partnership. Samples were provided by the IODP. Stable isotope analysis of planktic foraminifera was funded by NIGFSC grant IP-1649-1116 to P.A.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Nilsson-Kerr, K., Anand, P., Sexton, P.F. et al. Role of Asian summer monsoon subsystems in the inter-hemispheric progression of deglaciation. Nat. Geosci. 12, 290–295 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-019-0319-5
Frontiers in Marine Science (2020)
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (2020)
Earth-Science Reviews (2020)