Synergy of the westerly winds and monsoons in the lake evolution of global closed basins since the Last Glacial Maximum and implications for hydrological change in central Asia

Li, Yu; Zhang, Yuxin

The monsoon system and westerly circulation, to which climate change responds differently, are two important components of global atmospheric circulation interacting with each other in the middle to low latitudes. Relevant research on global millennial-scale climate change in monsoon and westerly regions is mostly devoted to multi-proxy analyses of lakes, stalagmites, ice cores, and marine and eolian sediments. Different responses from these proxies to long-term environmental change make understanding climate change patterns in monsoon and westerly regions difficult. Accordingly, we disaggregated global closed basins into areas governed by monsoon and westerly winds, unified paleoclimate indicators, and added lake models and paleoclimate simulations to emphatically track millennial-scale evolution characteristics and mechanisms of East Asian summer monsoon and westerly winds since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Our results reveal that millennial-scale water balance change exhibits an obvious boundary between global monsoon and westerly regions in closed basins, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere. The effective moisture in most closed basins of the midlatitude Northern Hemisphere mainly exhibits a decreasing trend since the LGM, while that of the low latitudes shows an increasing trend. In the monsoon-dominated closed basins of Asia, a humid climate prevails in the early to mid-Holocene, and a relatively dry climate appears in the LGM and late Holocene. In the westerly-wind-dominated closed basins of Asia, the climate is characterized by a humid LGM and mid-Holocene (MH) compared with the dry early and late Holocene, which is likely to be connected to precipitation brought by the westerly circulation. This study provides insight into the long-term evolution and synergy of westerly winds and monsoon systems as well as a basis for the projection of future hydrological balance.

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Li, Yu / Zhang, Yuxin: Synergy of the westerly winds and monsoons in the lake evolution of global closed basins since the Last Glacial Maximum and implications for hydrological change in central Asia. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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