What is it about?

Understanding the climate sensitivity of the East Asian monsoon (i.e. its response to climate forcing) is of critical importance to predict its future evolution. We have shown a hydroclimate transition at about 2.6 Ma, associated with an increase in obliquity forcing and in climate stochasticity. This transition is attributed to the appearance of new high-latitude forcing mechanisms on monsoonal intensity brought by the upscaling of northern hemisphere ice volume.

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Why is it important?

Our works confirm strong teleconnections between Antarctic and Northern Hemisphere ice-sheet expansion, eustatic sea level and monsoonal intensity, and show that the modern climate sensitivity of the East Asian monsoon is recent and unique to the Quaternary world with bipolar ice-sheets. Our findings emphasize that global boundary conditions are thus equally important as local low-latitude insolation forcing for the East Asian Summer Monsoon.


Our work reconciles multiple deep-time records of East Asian monsoonal intensity that yields contradictory responses; it provides a robust scenario for the evolution of monsoonal climate sensitivity that will be of interest to many geoscientists.

Ze Zhang
China University of Geosciences

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This page is a summary of: East Asian Monsoonal Climate Sensitivity Changed in the Late Pliocene in Response to Northern Hemisphere Glaciations, Geophysical Research Letters, December 2022, American Geophysical Union (AGU), DOI: 10.1029/2022gl101280.
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