Data‐Model Comparisons of Tropical Hydroclimate Changes Over the Common Era
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Data‐Model Comparisons of Tropical Hydroclimate Changes Over the Common Era

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  • Journal Title:
    Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology
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    We examine the evidence for large‐scale tropical hydroclimate changes over the Common Era based on a compilation of 67 tropical hydroclimate records from 55 sites and assess the consistency between the reconstructed hydroclimate changes and those simulated by transient model simulations of the last millennium. Our synthesis of the proxy records reveals several regionally coherent patterns on centennial time scales. From 800 to 1000 CE, records from the eastern Pacific and parts of Mesoamerica indicate a pronounced drying event relative to background conditions of the Common Era. In addition, 1400–1700 CE is marked by pronounced hydroclimate changes across the tropics, including dry and/or isotopically enriched conditions in South and East Asia, wet and/or isotopically depleted conditions in the central Andes and southern Amazon in South America, and fresher and/or isotopically depleted conditions in the Maritime Continent. We find notable dissimilarities between the regional hydroclimate changes and global‐scale and hemispheric‐scale temperature reconstructions, indicating that more work needs to be done to understand the mechanisms of the widespread tropical hydroclimate changes during the LIA. Apropos to previous interpretations of large‐scale reorganization of tropical Pacific climate during the LIA, we do not find support for a large‐scale southward shift of the Pacific Intertropical Convergence Zone, while evidence for a strengthened Pacific Walker Circulation and/or an equatorward contraction of the monsoonal Asian‐Australian rain belt exists from limited geographic regions but require additional paleoclimate constraints. Transient climate model simulations exhibit weak forced long‐term tropical rainfall changes over the last millennium but provide several important insights to the proxy reconstructions.
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    Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 36(7)
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