Seasonality of westerly moisture transport in the East Asian summer monsoon and its implications for interpreting precipitation δ18O

Baker, Alexander J. and Sodemann, Harald and Baldini, James U. L. and Breitenbach, Sebastian F. M. and Johnson, Kathleen R. and van Hunen, Jeroen and Zhang, Pingzhong (2015) Seasonality of westerly moisture transport in the East Asian summer monsoon and its implications for interpreting precipitation δ18O. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 120 (12). pp. 5850-5862. ISSN 2169-8996 DOI 10.1002/2014JD022919

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Official URL: http://doi.wiley.com/Seasonality of westerly moist...

Abstract

East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) rainfall impacts the world's most populous regions. Accurate EASM rainfall prediction necessitates robust paleoclimate reconstructions from proxy data and quantitative linkage to modern climatic conditions. Many precisely dated oxygen isotope records from Chinese stalagmites have been interpreted as directly reflecting past EASM rainfall amount variability, but recent research suggests that such records instead integrate multiple hydroclimatic processes. Using a Lagrangian precipitation moisture source diagnostic, we demonstrate that EASM rainfall is primarily derived from the Indian Ocean. Conversely, Pacific Ocean moisture export peaks during winter, and the moisture uptake area does not differ significantly between summer and winter and is thus a minor contributor to monsoonal precipitation. Our results are substantiated by an accurate reproduction of summer and winter spatial rainfall distributions across China. We also correlate modern EASM rainfall oxygen isotope ratios with instrumental rainfall amount and our moisture source data. This analysis reveals that the strength of the source effect is geographically variable, and differences in atmospheric moisture transport may significantly impact the isotopic signature of EASM rainfall at the Hulu, Dongge, and Wanxiang Cave sites. These results improve our ability to isolate the rainfall amount signal in paleomonsoon reconstructions and indicate that precipitation across central and eastern China will directly respond to variability in Indian Ocean moisture supply.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: NILAREP, IA69; weekly list
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Volume: 120
Page Range: pp. 5850-5862
Identification Number: 10.1002/2014JD022919
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2015 17:09
Last Modified: 26 Dec 2015 01:00
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3463

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