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High-elevation tropical glaciers provide records of past climate from which current changes can be assessed. Comparisons among three ice-core records from tropical mountains on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean reveal how climatic events are linked through large-scale processes such as El Niño–Southern Oscillation. Two distinctive trans-Pacific events in the mid-fourteenth and late-eighteenth centuries are distinguished by elevated aerosol concentrations in cores from the Peruvian Andes and the Tibetan Himalaya. Today aerosol sources for these areas are enhanced by droughts accompanying El Niños. In both locations, large-scale atmospheric circulation supports aerosol transport from likely source regions. Oxygen isotopic ratios...

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