High-frequency suborbital variations (Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles) characterize the climatic history of the Northern Hemisphere as observed in Greenland ice cores, deep-sea sediments of the North Atlantic, the Californian borderland, the Arabian Sea, the South China Sea, and the Chinese loess area. Paleoceanographic data from core KL126 from the Bay of Bengal in combination with data from the other Asian monsoonal areas indicate that the feedback processes involving snow and dust of the Tibetan Plateau vary the summer monsoon capacity to transport moisture into central South Asia and into the atmosphere. We postulate that the summer monsoon initiates, amplifies, and terminates these cycles in the Northern Hemisphere.

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