Most reconstructions of the South American Monsoon System (SAMS) over the last two millennia are based on δ18O records from locations at high-elevation sites in the Andes, which are not influenced by the South Atlantic Convergence Zone (SACZ). Yet the SACZ is a key driver of SAMS variability over much of Brazil. Here we use two new δ18O records from speleothems sampled in the central and southwestern portions of the SACZ core to show that the SAMS was not varying in phase over the entire tropical continent during the last two millennia. In fact, speleothem records located to the northeast of the SACZ record precipitation variations that are antiphased with similar records on the opposite side of the SACZ, in particular during the Little Ice Age period, while records close to the core of the SACZ axis show no significant departure from the mean state during this period.
- South American Monsoon
- South Atlantic Convergence Zone