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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022 OA / New evidence of the emergence of the East Asian monsoon in the early Palaeogene

Li-Fei Su, Qian-Qian Zhang, Yan-Kun Sun, Shao-Liang Zhang, Thierry Smith, and Cheng-Sen Li (2022)

New evidence of the emergence of the East Asian monsoon in the early Palaeogene

Scientific Reports, 12(1):20471 (12 pages).

Previous palaeoenvironmental reconstructions have implied that East Asia was dominated by a zonal climate pattern during the Eocene, with an almost latitudinal arid/semiarid band at ~ 30° N. However, this long-standing model has recently been challenged by growing body of multidisciplinary evidence. Some studies indicated that central China was characterized by climatic fluctuations between humid and drier conditions during the Early Eocene, akin to the present East Asian monsoon (EAM) regime. Using palynological assemblages in the Tantou Basin, central China, we quantitatively reconstructed climate changes from the Late Palaeocene to Early Eocene to better understand climate change in central China. Palynological assemblages revealed that the coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest in this area received no less than 800 mm of annual precipitation and experienced a climate change from warm and wet to relatively cool and dry. According to palaeoclimate curves, a sudden climate change occurred in the Early Eocene, with the mean annual temperature and precipitation decreasing by 5.1 °C and 214.8 mm, respectively, and the climate became very similar to the present climate, which is controlled by the monsoon. Therefore, this significant climate change during the Early Eocene may signal the emergence of the EAM in East Asia.
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