The asian summer monsoon: Teleconnections and forcing mechanisms—a review from chinese speleothem δ18o records

Haiwei Zhang, Yassine Ait Brahim, Hanying Li, Jingyao Zhao, Gayatri Kathayat, Ye Tian, Jonathan Baker, Jian Wang, Fan Zhang, Youfeng Ning, R. Lawrence Edwards, Hai Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Asian summer monsoon (ASM) variability significantly affects hydro-climate, and thus socio-economics, in the East Asian region, where nearly one-third of the global population resides. Over the last two decades, speleothem δ18O records from China have been utilized to reconstruct ASM variability and its underlying forcing mechanisms on orbital to seasonal timescales. Here, we use the Speleothem Isotopes Synthesis and Analysis database (SISAL_v1) to present an overview of hydro-climate variability related to the ASM during three periods: the late Pleistocene, the Holocene, and the last two millennia. We highlight the possible global teleconnections and forcing mechanisms of the ASM on different timescales. The longest composite stalagmite δ18O record over the past 640 kyr BP from the region demonstrates that ASM variability on orbital timescales is dominated by the 23 kyr precessional cycles, which are in phase with Northern Hemisphere summer insolation (NHSI). During the last glacial, millennial changes in the intensity of the ASM appear to be controlled by North Atlantic climate and oceanic feedbacks. During the Holocene, changes in ASM intensity were primarily controlled by NHSI. However, the spatio-temporal distribution of monsoon rain belts may vary with changes in ASM intensity on decadal to millennial timescales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number26
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors were supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41888101, 41502166, 41731174, 41703007), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2015M580832, 2018M640971), U.S. National Science Foundation Grant 1702816 and 111 Project of China (D19002).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • ASM
  • China
  • Oxygen isotope
  • Paleoclimate
  • Speleothem


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