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Severe Drought Conditions in Northern East Asia During the Early Pliocene Caused by Weakened Pacific Meridional Temperature Gradient

Abstract : The evolution of hydroclimate in East Asia during the Pliocene—a potential analog of the future greenhouse climate—remains highly uncertain. Here we reconstruct changes in the hydroclimate of Northern China during this epoch. Our results reveal previously undocumented severe drought conditions that persisted through the early Pliocene with a significantly greater magnitude than suggested by other records. Using a broad hierarchy of climate simulations, we find that reduction in the Pacific meridional sea surface temperature (SST) gradient has particularly strong impacts on precipitation over Northern China, which suggests its key role in maintaining drought conditions during the early Pliocene. The weaker Pacific meridional SST gradient causes the weakening of the East Asian summer monsoon precipitation over this region via a reduction of atmospheric northward moisture transport from the ocean, which enhances aridity inland. Our results highlight the fundamental control of the tropical ocean on the extra-tropical hydrological cycle.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03746444
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Submitted on : Friday, August 19, 2022 - 8:16:19 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, August 20, 2022 - 3:47:41 AM

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Yanhong Zheng, Alexey V. Fedorov, Natalie J. Burls, Rui Zhang, Chris M. Brierley, et al.. Severe Drought Conditions in Northern East Asia During the Early Pliocene Caused by Weakened Pacific Meridional Temperature Gradient. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2022, 49, ⟨10.1029/2022GL098813⟩. ⟨insu-03746444⟩

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