EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Recent pronounced weakening of Asia summer monsoon over the past 450 years

Yu Liu and Wenju Cai
Yu Liu and Wenju Cai
  • Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China (

Affecting a multitude of ecological and agricultural systems, the Asia summer monsoon (ASM) is essential for biodiversity and the food security of billions of people. Understanding past changes of the ASM is important for the detection and attribution of its recent evolution and future projection in the context of global warming. However, proxy-based, high-resolution reconstructions of the ASM prior to the period of instrumental measurements that started in the 1950s in China are still missing. Here, we use an ensemble of ten tree-ring width chronologies from the northern margin of the ASM to estimate ASM strength back to 1566 AD. The reconstruction not only reveals severe large-scale droughts in 1586/87 and 1759, but also negative anomalies during persistent locus plagues in the 1860s. The record also shows an unprecedented decrease in ASM since the mid-20th century. Simulations from a coupled climate model suggest that the recent ASM decline could have been induced by increased anthropogenic aerosol emissions over the Northern Hemisphere.

How to cite: Liu, Y. and Cai, W.: Recent pronounced weakening of Asia summer monsoon over the past 450 years, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6332,, 2020