Here we compare late Quaternary southwest African climate records from the west coast of southern Africa (published winter rainfall and trade wind intensity records from a core off the coast of Namibia) to records of Antarctic sea-ice extent. This comparison reveals coherent changes between Antarctic sea-ice extent and the southwest African winter rain region since 45 k.y. B.P., with enhanced winter rainfall and trade-wind vigor during periods of increased sea-ice presence. We propose an oceanic and atmospheric coupling between Antarctic sea ice and the winter rainfall zone of southwest Africa that may lead to increased desertification in the region if global warming persists.

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