Go to ScienceDirect® Home Skip Main Navigation Links
 Register or Login:   Password:      
HomeSearchBrowse JournalsBrowse Abstract DatabasesBrowse BooksBrowse Reference WorksMy ProfileAlertsHelp (Opens new window)
 Quick Search:  within Quick Search searches abstracts, titles, and keywords. Click for more information. 
2 of 16 Result ListPreviousNext
Marine Geology
Volume 201, Issues 1-3 , 30 September 2003, Pages 5-21
Asian Monsoons and Global Linkages on Milankovitch and Sub-Milankovitch Time Scales

This Document
Full Text + Links
PDF (1636 K)

Cited By
Save as Citation Alert
E-mail Article
Export Citation

doi:10.1016/S0025-3227(03)00196-8    How to cite or link using doi (opens new window) Cite or link using doi  
Copyright © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Contrasting the Indian and East Asian monsoons: implications on geologic timescales

Bin WangCorresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, a, b, Steven C. Clemensc and Ping Liub, 1

a Department of Meteorology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA
b International Pacific Research Center, School of Ocean Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA
c Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA

Accepted 19 June 2003. ; Available online 30 August 2003.


The surface winds over the Arabian Sea and South China Sea are meaningful indicators for the strength of the Indian monsoon and East Asian monsoon, respectively. Paleo-monsoon variability has been studied through analysis of sediment records from these two monsoon regions. To facilitate interpretation of these records, we focus on the impacts of `internal' and `external' forcing of the monsoon system by contrasting the annual cycle and interannual variability of two subsystems: the monsoon over the Indian sector (40–105°E) and over the East Asian sector (105–160°E). Differences in the annual cycle within these subsystems arise primarily from the different land–ocean configurations that determines atmospheric response to the solar forcing. Thus factors that drive intensities of the monsoonal annual cycle share common features with the external (geographic and orbital) forcing that controls paleo-monsoon variability. We show that the differences in interannual variations between the two monsoon subsystems are primarily due to internal factors of the coupled atmosphere–ocean–land system, such as remote impacts of El Niño/La Niña and local monsoon–ocean interactions. The mechanisms that operate on interannual to interdecadal timescales may differ fundamentally from that on geologic/orbital timescales. The low-level flows over the East Asia and Australia are essentially established by geographic forcing. The amplification of the Australia summer monsoon during increased solar precession is likely caused by an enhanced East Asian winter monsoon, rather than following an enhanced Indian summer monsoon as on the interannual timescale. It is also found that El Niño influences the low-level flow moderately over the Arabian Sea but to a greater extent over the South China Sea. As such, large changes in the Pacific thermal conditions may significantly alter the intensity of the East Asian monsoon but not the Indian monsoon.

Author Keywords: Indian monsoon; East Asian–Australian monsoon; geographic forcing; orbital forcing; monsoon–ocean interaction; ENSO forcing

Article Outline

1. Introduction
2. Data and analysis methods
3. The contrasting annual cycles in the Indian and East Asia sectors
4. Differences in interannual variability between Indian and East Asian monsoons
5. Discussion: causes of the differences between the two A–AM subsystems
5.1. Annual cycle: geographic and orbital forcing
5.2. Interannual variation: local monsoon–ocean interaction and El Niño forcing
6. Conclusion and discussion

Enlarge Image
Fig. 1. Climatological July–August mean precipitation rates (shading in mm/day) and 925 hPa wind vectors (arrows) in the A–AM region. The precipitation and wind climatology are derived from CMAP ([Xie and Arkin, 1997]) (1979–2000) and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis (1951–2000), respectively. The three boxes define major summer precipitation areas of the Indian tropical monsoon (5–27.5°N, 65–105°E), WNP tropical monsoon (5–22.5°N, 105–150°E), and the East Asian subtropical monsoon (22.5–45°N, 105–140°E).

Enlarge Image
Fig. 2. Climatological pentad (5-day) mean precipitation rate (mm/day) averaged over (a) the Indian sector (65–105°E), and (b) the western Pacific sector (105–145°E). The data used are derived from CMAP ([Xie and Arkin, 1997]) for the period of 1979–2000.

Enlarge Image
Fig. 3. Climatological pentad mean precipitation rate (mm/day) averaged over three regions: Indian summer monsoon (5–27.5°N, 65–105°E), WNP summer monsoon (5–22.5°N, 105–150°E), and East Asian summer monsoon (22.5–45°N, 105–140°E). The abscissa runs from pentad 1 (January 1–5) to pentad 73 (December 27–31). The data used are derived from CMAP ([Xie and Arkin, 1997]) for the period of 1979–2000. The thick, thin, and long-dashed horizontal lines indicate, respectively, the annual mean rainfall rates averaged for the WNP, East Asian, and Indian monsoon regions.

Enlarge Image
Fig. 4. Same as in Fig. 1 except for January–February mean.

Enlarge Image
Fig. 5. Time series of monthly mean Niño 3 (black) and Niño 3.4 (gray) sea surface temperature anomalies from January 1951 to December 2000. The data used are from Reynold's reconstructed SST ([Reynolds and Smith, 1994]). Anomalies are departures from 1951–2000 climatology. Solid boxes outline the 10 El Niño cases used in the composite. Two dashed boxes indicate two El Niño events that are not selected.

Enlarge Image
Fig. 6. Composite seasonal mean SST anomalies for selected 10 El Niño episodes: (a) JJA(0), (b) D(0)/JF(1), and (c) JJA(1), where 0 denotes the year in which El Niño develops and 1 as the year El Niño decays. The data used are from Reynold's reconstructed SST ([Reynolds and Smith, 1994]).

Enlarge Image
Fig. 7. Seasonal mean precipitation rate (mm/day, contour) and 925 hPa wind anomalies composite for the 10 selected El Niño episodes shown in Fig. 6: (a) JJA (0), (b) SON(0), (c) D(0)/JF(1), (d) MAM(1), and (e) JJA(1), where year 0 denotes the year in which El Niño develops and 1 as the year El Niño decays. The data used are derived from NCEP/NCAR reanalysis (1951–2000) ([Kalnay et al., 1996]).

Enlarge Image
Fig. 8. Correlation map of seasonal (DJF) mean meridional wind anomalies with reference to the Australian summer monsoon (DJF) index that is defined by the zonal wind anomalies averaged over the region (2.5–12.5°S, 120–150°E). The correlation coefficients are computed for the period of 1951–2000.


An and Wang, 2001. S.-I. An and B. Wang, Mechanisms of locking the El Niño/La Niña mature phases to boreal winter. J. Clim. 14 (2001), pp. 2164–2176. Abstract-OceanBase | Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document

Chen et al., 1998. T.C. Chen, S.P. Weng, N. Yamazaki and S. Kiehne, Interannual variation in the tropical cyclone formation over the western North Pacific. Mon. Wea. Rev. 126 (1998), pp. 1080–1090.

Chen et al., 1992. L.-X. Chen, M. Dong and Y.-N. Shao, The characteristics of interannual variations on the East Asian monsoon. J. Meteor. Soc. Jpn. 70 (1992), pp. 397–421.

Clemens and Prell, 1990. S.C. Clemens and W.L. Prell, Late Pleistocene variability of Arabian Sea summer monsoon winds and continental aridity: Eolian records from the lithogenic componenet of deep-sea sediments. Paleoceanography 5 (1990), pp. 109–145. Abstract-INSPEC | Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document

Clemens et al., 1991. S.C. Clemens, W.L. Prell, D.W. Murray, G. Shimmield and G. Weedon, Forcing mechanisms of the Indian Ocean monsoon. Nature 353 (1991), pp. 720–725. Abstract-INSPEC | Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document | Full Text via CrossRef

Clemens et al., 1996. S.C. Clemens, D.W. Murray and W.L. Prell, Nonstationary phase of the PlioPleistocene Asian monsoon. Science 274 (1996), pp. 943–948. Abstract-INSPEC | Abstract-Compendex | Abstract-GEOBASE | Abstract-EMBASE   | $Order Document | Full Text via CrossRef

Clement et al., 1999. A.C. Clement, R. Seøger and M.A. Cane, Orbital controls on the El Niño/southern oscillation and the tropical climate. Palaeoceanography 14 (1999), pp. 441–456. Abstract-OceanBase | Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document | Full Text via CrossRef

Davey et al., 2002. M.K. Davey, M. Huddleston, K.R. Sperber, P. Braconnot, F. Bryan, D. Chen, R.A. Colman, C. Cooper, U. Cubasch, P. Delecluse, D. DeWitt, L. Fairhead, G. Flato, C. Gordon, T. Hogan, M. Ji, M. Kimoto, A. Kitoh, T.R. Knutson, M. Latif, H. LeTreut, T. Li, S. Manabe, C.R. Mechoso, G.A. Meehl, S.B. Power, E. Roeckner, L. Terray, A. Vintzileos, R. Voss, B. Wang, W.M. Washington, I. Yoshikawa, J.Y. Yu, S. Yukimoto and S.E. Zebiak, STOIC: A study of coupled model climatology and variability in tropical ocean region. Clim. Dyn. 18 (2002), pp. 403–420. Abstract-GEOBASE | Abstract-INSPEC | Abstract-OceanBase   | $Order Document

Fu and Teng, 1988. Fu, C., Teng X., 1988. The relationship between ENSO and climate anomaly in China during the summer time (in Chinese). Sci. Atmos. Sinica (Special issue), pp. 133–141.

Gill, 1980. A.E. Gill, Some simple solutions for heat-induced tropical circulation. Quart. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 106 (1980), pp. 447–462. Abstract-INSPEC | Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document

Ju and Slingo, 1995. J. Ju and J.M. Slingo, The Asian summer monsoon and ENSO. Quart. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 121 (1995), pp. 113–168.

Kalnay et al., 1996. E. Kalnay, M. Kanamitsu, R. Kistler, W. Collins, D. Deaven, L. Gandin, M. Iredell, S. Saha, G. White, J. Woollen, Y. Zhu, A. Leetmaa, B. Reynolds, M. Chelliah, W. Ebisuzaki, W. Higgins, J. Janowiak, K.C. Mo, C. Ropelewski, J. Wang, R. Jenne and D. Joseph, The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 77 (1996), pp. 437–471. Abstract-GEOBASE | Abstract-INSPEC   | $Order Document

Krishnamurti, 1971. T.N. Krishnamurti, Tropical east–west circulations during the northern summer. J. Atmos. Sci. 28 (1971), pp. 1342–1347.

Krishnamurti and Bhalme, 1976. T.N. Krishnamurti and H.N. Bhalme, Oscillations of a monsoon system. Part I: Observational aspects. J. Atmos. Sci. 33 (1976), pp. 1937–1954. Abstract-Compendex | Abstract-INSPEC   | $Order Document

Krishnamurti et al., 1985. Krishnamurti, T.N., Surge, N., Manobianco, J., 1985. Annual cycle of the monsoon over the global tropics. WMO world climate research programme publications Ser. 4, WMO TD65, Part IV-I-IV-21.

Kumar et al., 1999. K.K. Kumar, B. Rajagopalan and M.A. Cane, On the weakening relationship between Indian monsoon and ENSO. Science 284 (1999), pp. 2156–2159. Abstract-EMBASE | Abstract-Elsevier BIOBASE | Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document | Full Text via CrossRef

Kutzbach and Guetter, 1984. Kutzbach, J.E., Guetter, P.J., 1984. The sensitivity of monsoon climates to orbital parameter changes for 9000 years B.P.: Experiments with the NCAR GCM. In: Berger, A., Imbrie, J., Hays, J., Kukla, G., Sultzman, B. (Eds.), Milankovitch and Climate: Understanding the Response to Astronomical Forcing. Reidel, Dordrecht, pp. 801–820.

Lau and Weng, 2001. K.-M. Lau and H. Weng, Coherent modes of global SST and summer rainfall over China: An assessment of the regional impacts of the 1997–1998 El Niño. J. Clim. 14 (2001), pp. 1294–1308. Abstract-INSPEC | Abstract-OceanBase | Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document

Latif et al., 2001. M. Latif, K. Sperber, J. Arblaster, P. Braconnot, D. Chen, A. Colman, U. Cubasch, C. Cooper, P. Delecluse, D. Dewitt, L. Fairhead, G. Flato, T. Hogan, M. Ji, M. Kimoto, A. Kitoh, T. Knutson, H. LeTreut, T. Li, S. Manabe, O. Marti, C. Mechoso, G. Meehl, S. Power, E. Roeckner, J. Sirven, L. Terray, A. Vintzileos, R. Voß, B. Wang, W. Washington, I. Yoshikawa, J. Yu and S. Zebiak, ENSIP: the El Niño simulation intercomparison project. Clim. Dyn. 18 (2001), pp. 255–276. Abstract-GEOBASE | Abstract-INSPEC | Abstract-OceanBase   | $Order Document | Full Text via CrossRef

McBride et al., 1995. J.L. McBride, N.E. Davidson, K. Puri and G.C. Tyrell, The flow during TOGA COARE as diagnosed by the BMRC tropical analysis and prediction system. Mon. Wea. Rev. 123 (1995), pp. 717–736.

Meehl, 1987. G.A. Meehl, The annual cycle and interannual variability in the tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean region. Mon. Wea. Rev. 115 (1987), pp. 27–50. Abstract-INSPEC | Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document

Meehl et al., 2000. G.A. Meehl, G.J. Boer, C. Covey, M. Latif and R.J. Stouffer, The coupled model intercomparison project (CMIP). Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 81 (2000), pp. 313–318.

Overpeck et al., 1996. J.T. Overpeck, S. Trumbore and W.L. Prell, The southwest Indian monsoon over the last 18,000 years. Clim. Dyn. 12 (1996), pp. 213–225. Abstract-GEOBASE | Abstract-INSPEC   | $Order Document | Full Text via CrossRef

Prell et al., 1992. Prell, W.L., Murray, D.W., Clemens, S.C., Anderson, D.M., 1992. Evolution and variability of the Indian Ocean summer monsoon: Evidence from the western Arabian Sea drilling program. In: Duncan, R.A., et al. (Ed.), The Indian Ocean: A Synthesis of Results from the Ocean Drilling Program. Am. Geophys. Union, Washington, DC, pp. 447–469.

Ramage, 1971. Ramage, C., 1971. Monsoon meteorology. International Geophysics Series Vol. 15. Academic Press, San Diego.

Reynolds and Smith, 1994. R.W. Reynolds and T.M. Smith, Improved global sea surface temperature analyses using optimum interpolation. J. Clim. 7 (1994), pp. 929–948. Abstract-INSPEC | Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document

Saji et al., 1999. N.H. Saji, B.N. Goswami, P.N. Vinayachandran and T. Yamagata, A dipole mode in the tropical Indian Ocean. Nature 401 (1999), pp. 360–363. Abstract-EMBASE | Abstract-Elsevier BIOBASE | Abstract-GEOBASE | Abstract-OceanBase | Abstract-INSPEC   | $Order Document | Full Text via CrossRef

Schulz et al., 1998. H. Schulz, U. von Rad and H. Erienkeuser, Correlation between Arabian Sea and Greenland climate oscillations of the past 110,000 years. Nature 393 (1998), pp. 54–57. Abstract-OceanBase | Abstract-EMBASE | Abstract-Elsevier BIOBASE | Abstract-GEOBASE | Abstract-INSPEC   | $Order Document

Shen and Lau, 1995. S. Shen and K.M. Lau, Biennial oscillation associated with the East Asian summer monsoon and tropical sea surface temperatures. J. Meteorol. Soc. Jpn. 73 (1995), pp. 105–124.

Shimmield et al., 1990. G.B. Shimmield, S.R. Mowbray and G.P. Weedon, A 350 ka history of the Indian Southwest Monsoon – evidence from deep-sea cores, northwest Arabian Sea. Trans. R. Soc. Edinb. 81 (1990), pp. 289–299. Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document

Sirocko, 1991. F. Sirocko, Deep-sea sediments of the Arabian Sea: A paleoclimatic record of the southwest-Asain summer monsoon. Geol. Rundsch. 80 (1991), pp. 557–566. Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document

Tao and Chen, 1987. Tao, S., Chen, L., 1987. A review of recent research on the East Asian summer monsoon in China. In: Chang, C.P., Krisnamurti, T.N. (Eds.), Monsoon Meteorology. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 60–92.

Trenberth et al., 2000. K.E. Trenberth, D.P. Stepaniak and J.M. Caron, The global monsoon as seen through the divergent atmospheric circulation. J. Clim. 13 (2000), pp. 3969–3993. Abstract-INSPEC | Abstract-Compendex | Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document

Tziperman et al., 1998. E.L. Tziperman, M.A. Cane, S.E. Zebiak, Y. Xue and B. Blumenthal, Locking El Nino's peak time to the end of the calendar yearin the delayed oscillator picture of ENSO. J. Clim. 11 (1998), pp. 2191–2199. Abstract-OceanBase | Abstract-GEOBASE | Abstract-INSPEC   | $Order Document

Wang, 1994. B. Wang, Climate regimes of the tropical convection and rainfall. J. Clim. 7 (1994), pp. 1109–1118. Abstract-INSPEC   | $Order Document

Wang and Lin, 2002. B. Wang and H. Lin, Rainy season of the Asian–Pacific summer monsoon. J. Clim. 15 (2002), pp. 386–398. Abstract-OceanBase | Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document

Wang and Chan, 2002. B. Wang and J.C.L. Chan, How Strong ENSO Events affect tropical storm activity over the western North Pacific. J. Clim. 15 (2002), pp. 1643–1658. Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document

Wang and Xu, 1997. B. Wang and X. Xu, Northern Hemisphere summer monsoon singularities and climatological intraseasonal oscillation. J. Climatol. 10 (1997), pp. 1071–1085.

Wang et al., 2000. B. Wang, R. Wu and X. Fu, Pacific–East Asian teleconnection: How does ENSO affect East Asian climate?. J. Clim. 13 (2000), pp. 1517–1536. Abstract-Compendex   | $Order Document

Wang et al., 2001. B. Wang, R. Wu and K.M. Lau, Interannual variability of Asian summer monsoon: Contrasts between the Indian and Western North Pacific–East Asian monsoons. J. Clim. 14 (2001), pp. 4073–4090. Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document

Wang et al., 1999. L. Wang, M. Sarnthein, H. Erlenkeuser, J. Grimalt, P. Grootes, S. Heilig, E. Ivanova, M. Kienast, C. Pelejero and U. Pflaumann, East Asian monsoon climate during the Late Pleistocene: High-resolution sediment records from the South China Sea. Mar. Geol. 156 (1999), pp. 245–284. Abstract | PDF (4825 K)

Wang, 1999. P. Wang, Response of Western Pacific marginal seas to glacial cycles: Paleoceanographic and sedimentological features. Mar. Geol. 156 (1999), pp. 5–40.

Webster et al., 1998. P.J. Webster, V.O. Magana, T.N. Palmer, J. Shukla, R.A. Tomas, M. Yanai and T. Yasunari, Monsoons: Processes, predictability, and the prospects for prediction. J. Geophys. Res. 103 (1998), pp. 14451–14510. Abstract-INSPEC | Abstract-GEOBASE   | $Order Document | Full Text via CrossRef

Xie and Arkin, 1997. P. Xie and P.A. Arkin, Global precipitation: A 17-year monthly analysis based on gauge observations, satellite estimates and numerical model outputs. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 78 (1997), pp. 2539–2558.

Corresponding Author Contact InformationCorresponding author. Present address: International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii, Honolulu HI, 96822. Fax: 1-808-956-9425

1 Also affiliated with LASG/Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, 100029. The International Pacific Research Center is sponsored in part by the Frontier Research System for Global Change.

This Document
Full Text + Links
PDF (1636 K)

Cited By
Save as Citation Alert
E-mail Article
Export Citation
Marine Geology
Volume 201, Issues 1-3 , 30 September 2003, Pages 5-21
Asian Monsoons and Global Linkages on Milankovitch and Sub-Milankovitch Time Scales

2 of 16 Result ListPreviousNext
HomeSearchBrowse JournalsBrowse Abstract DatabasesBrowse BooksBrowse Reference WorksMy ProfileAlertsHelp (Opens new window)

Send feedback to ScienceDirect
Software and compilation © 2004 ScienceDirect. All rights reserved.
ScienceDirect® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V.

Your use of this service is governed by Terms and Conditions. Please review our Privacy Policy for details on how we protect information that you supply.