Abrupt Holocene Indian Summer Monsoon failures: A primary response to solar activity?

Hai Xu, Kevin M. Yeager, Jianghu Lan, Bin Liu, Enguo Sheng, Xinying Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Knowledge of the millennial abrupt monsoon failures is critical to understanding the related causes. Here, we extracted proxy indices of Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) intensity during the early to mid-Holocene, from peat deposits at Lake Xihu, in southwestern China. There are a series of abrupt, millennial-scale episodes of ISM weakening inferred from the Lake Xihu records, which are generally synchronous with those inferred from other archives over ISM areas. An important feature is that the ISM failures inferred from the Lake Xihu proxy indices synchronize well with abrupt changes in solar activity. We argue that changes in solar activity play a primary role in producing most of these millennial ISM failures, while some other causes, including freshwater outbursts into the North Atlantic Ocean and changes in sea surface temperatures of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, may have also exerted influences on parts of the millennial ISM failures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-685
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 16 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2015


  • Indian Summer Monsoon
  • Lake Xihu
  • Monsoon failure
  • peatland
  • sea surface temperature
  • solar activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Archaeology
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Paleontology


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