Abstract

Century-long variations in coastal California vegetation inferred from polliniferous sediments deposited in the Santa Barbara basin record a succession of brief (<200 yr duration) climatic events that recurred at ∼1000 yr intervals (8.8, 10.4, 11.2, 12.1, 12.7, 13.4, 13.9, 14.6, 15.4, 16.1, and 17.1 × 1000 14C yr B.P. [ka]). These millennial-scale pulses, many of which correspond with western Great Basin hydrological fluctuations, are also linked to events of southwest monsoon intensification in southern Asia. We suggest that these correlative high-frequency variations in the Asian summer and northeast Pacific winter climates may reflect submillennial-scale El NiñO/Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-type forcing involving water vapor transport over the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

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