Position and orientation of the westerly jet determined Holocene rainfall patterns in China

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  • Ulrike Herzschuh, Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Universität Potsdam
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  • Xianyong Cao, Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
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  • Thomas Laepple, Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
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  • Anne Dallmeyer, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
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  • Richard J. Telford, University of Bergen
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  • Jian Ni, Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Zhejiang Normal University
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  • Fahu Chen, Chinese Academy of Science, Lanzhou University
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  • Zhaochen Kong, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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  • Guangxiu Liu, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute Chinese Academy of Sciences
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  • Kam Biu Liu, Louisiana State University (LSU)
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  • Xingqi Liu, Capital Normal University
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  • Martina Stebich, Senckenberg Research Station of Quaternary Palaeontology
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  • Lingyu Tang, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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  • Fang Tian, Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
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  • Yongbo Wang, Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Capital Normal University
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  • Juliane Wischnewski, Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Centre for Environmental Humanities
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  • Qinghai Xu, Hebei Normal University
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  • Shun Yan, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography Chinese Academy of Sciences
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  • Zhenjing Yang, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute Chinese Academy of Sciences, Academy of Geological Sciences
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  • Ge Yu, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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  • Yun Zhang, State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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  • Yan Zhao, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
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  • Zhuo Zheng, Sun Yat-Sen University

Proxy-based reconstructions and modeling of Holocene spatiotemporal precipitation patterns for China and Mongolia have hitherto yielded contradictory results indicating that the basic mechanisms behind the East Asian Summer Monsoon and its interaction with the westerly jet stream remain poorly understood. We present quantitative reconstructions of Holocene precipitation derived from 101 fossil pollen records and analyse them with the help of a minimal empirical model. We show that the westerly jet-stream axis shifted gradually southward and became less tilted since the middle Holocene. This was tracked by the summer monsoon rain band resulting in an early-Holocene precipitation maximum over most of western China, a mid-Holocene maximum in north-central and northeastern China, and a late-Holocene maximum in southeastern China. Our results suggest that a correct simulation of the orientation and position of the westerly jet stream is crucial to the reliable prediction of precipitation patterns in China and Mongolia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2376
JournalNature Communications
Volume10
Issue1
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
ISSN2041-1723
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

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