Past monsoons : A review of proxy data and modelling
Keywords:Palaeomonsoon, General circulation models, Insolation, Last glacial maximum, Mid-Holocene, Vegetation feedbacks
Recent modelling studies have given insight into the role of internal feedback processes among components of the climate system on the evolution of monsoon strength since the Last Glacial Maximum (21,000 years ago). Here we present an overview of these modelling studies related to the summer monsoon over India and northern Africa. These studies indicate that the seasonal insolation changes alone do not explain the observed extent of hydrological changes during the early and middle Holocene over northern Africa. To simulate the extent of observed changes during this period incorporation of vegetation as an active component in climate models appears to be necessary. Over the Indian region, model results show that precipitation-soil moisture feedbacks play an important role in determining the response of the monsoon to changes in insolation and glacial-age surface boundary conditions. Indian monsoon strength from proxy records during the early and middle. Holocene have also been used in conjunction with coupled ocean atmosphere general circulation model experiments to refute the suggestion that semi-permanent warm surface conditions prevailed over equatorial Pacific ocean from 11 to 5ka.
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