The "4.2 ka event" is frequently described as a major global climate anomaly between 4.2 and 3.9 ka, which defines the beginning of the current Meghalayan age in the Holocene epoch. The "event" has been disproportionately reported from proxy records from the Northern Hemisphere, but its climatic manifestation remains much less clear in the Southern Hemisphere. Here, we present highly resolved and chronologically well-constrained speleothem oxygen and carbon isotopes records between <span classCombining double low line"inline-formula">ĝ1/46</span> and 3 ka from Rodrigues Island in the southwestern subtropical Indian Ocean, located <span classCombining double low line"inline-formula">ĝ1/4600</span> km east of Mauritius. Our records show that the 4.2 ka event did not manifest itself as a period of major climate change at Rodrigues Island in the context of our record's length. Instead, we find evidence for a multi-centennial drought that occurred near-continuously between 3.9 and 3.5 ka and temporally coincided with climate change throughout the Southern Hemisphere.
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Acknowledgements. We thank Nick Scroxton and another anonymous reviewer for their contribution to the peer review of this work. We very much appreciate editorial help from Raymond Bradley. This work was supported by grants from the NSFC (41472140, 41731174 and 41561144003), US NSF grant 1702816 and a grant from the State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, CAS (SKLLQG1414).